Irish beer is renowned for its quality and many of the world’s best-known beer brands originated from Ireland. Beer has a long tradition in Ireland and some of the best-known Irish beer brands include Murphy’s Irish Stout, Smithwick’s Irish Ale, and O’Hara’s Celtic Stout.
Currently, Guinness and Beamish are two of biggest and most famous breweries in Ireland, but there are many other, smaller breweries offering a unique taste and new flavors to the beer market.
We’ve prepared a list of top five breweries you should visit while staying in Ireland.
The White Hag, Sligo
The White Hag Brewing Company is located in Ballymote, Sligo Country and offers a wide range of products, including several types of Irish ales, beers, and lagers. The brewery was opened in 2014, and its name takes inspiration from Irish mythology in which The White Hag was a representation of nature and was connected with earth and water.
The company’s best-known beer is Fionnabhair Irish Wit, offering an original, exotic taste inspired by Belgian witbier.
The historic city of Waterford in the eponymous county in the South East of Ireland is one of the oldest in the country.
Metalman Brewery Company was founded in 2011 by a small group of people determined to come up with authentic flavors. Since then, the company has been growing and in 2014 it launched the first ever craft beer in Ireland.
The company’s name is derived from the figure of a Metal Man erected in 1823 on the Waterford shoreline to offer navigational aid to vessels.
The small town of Westport on the Atlantic coast of Ireland is home to Mescan Brewery. The company makes Belgian-style craft beers by using mostly natural ingredients.
If you want to experience the authentic flavor of Irish beer, visiting Westport is also an opportunity to see the town’s many pubs and restaurants.
Tip: Go Irish Tours offers a wide range of curated tours and is one of Ireland’s most renowned vacation companies.
Rascals Brewing Company, Dublin
One of the distinguishing features of Rascals Brewing Company headquartered in Rathcoole, Dublin, is that they use cans instead of bottles. The company already has a history, and it was by Emma Devlin and Cathal O’Donoghue, a couple with a taste for creating new and unique brews. They have won several awards, including a bronze medal at the international beer convention.
Tip: Numerous breweries can be found scattered in Dublin, and we recommend you visit some of the smaller ones in order to try out new and unique flavors.
Eight Degrees, Cork
Eight Degrees Brewery focuses on making unique beers for people interested in trying out something new and special.
Founded by Cam, a chartered accountant from Australia and Scott, a water engineer from New Zealand, the company grew to prominence and introduced a number of new beers. The first beer they brewed, Howling Gale Irish Pale Ale, still remained one of their most popular.
While in Ireland, we recommend you visit some of the local restaurants where you can experience traditional Irish cuisine and culture.