As the summer progresses and we get more and more acquainted with the great outdoors, those of us who enjoy discovering and appreciating the wide variety of craft drinks made in Ireland have an increasing array of options to add to our itineraries.
While the country is home to over a hundred breweries and distilleries, and many tours and visitor centres are still on hold or in the process of reinventing themselves, there are some options sprouting again, and we’re hopeful that many more will follow in the very near future.
We have prepared a selection of drink tourism destinations operating this summer that offer a fun and safe environment for enthusiasts wishing to try the drinks they love or meet new favourites.
ROE & CO.
This modern distillery and visitor centre has recently launched D-8TE, an outdoors dining and cocktail experience set to bring a taste of the world to Dublin 8.
You can book a table at Roe & Co’s outdoor Cocktail Village for groups of 2, 4 and up to 6 people. The distillery has teamed up with a number of local restaurants or food partners who will be offering set tasting menus at €40.
Menus and restaurants rotate, but examples include Bahay, Pickle and Nightmarket. You can accompany your dinner with a cocktail pairing designed to match the food, for an additional €30.
Where: 92 James’ Street, Dublin 8.
More info: roeandcowhiskey.com
RASCALS BREWING COMPANY
This hip brewery, tap room, pizza restaurant and off-licence has you covered for the irresistible match that is beer and wood-fire oven pizza. They’re outdoors area is ready to welcome you seven days a week (Monday to Friday from 4pm and from 1pm on the weekends).
Their spacious terrace is covered and with outdoor heating when needed, and it is dog friendly too.
You can treat yourselves to some of their tap-only rotating brews, or take home an assortment of your canned favourites for later.
Where: Goldenbridge Estate, Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, D08 HF68, Ireland.
More info: rascalsbrewing.com
Dublin whiskey renaissance pioneers have recently celebrated their 6th year and inaugurated a new outdoors space, the Teeling Terrace.
Visitors can try different cocktails and releases from the distillery al fresco, as well as a complimentary ice cream at the Phoenix Café. Pre-booking is essential as places are very limited.
If you visit, don’t miss the chance to have a look at a scale model of the distillery, made of 4,173 lego bricks, and commissioned to creative Gianni Clifford, a.k.a. Dublin Bricks.
Where: 13-17 Newmarket, The Liberties, Dublin 8, D08 KD91.
More info: teelingwhiskey.com
This Boyne Valley standout is housed in the grounds of the stunning Slane Castle in County Meath. Known for both a rich history and for a world-class rock festival, the whiskey is now yet another reason to get yourself to Slane.
Slane distillery is currently serving signature cocktails in its stately courtyard on Saturdays and Sundays between noon to 5pm. The gift shop and stall bars are open, and safety protocols are being observed.
Where: N51, Slanecastle Demesne, Co. Meath, Ireland
More info: slaneirishwhiskey.com/distillery
THE SHED DISTILLERY
First there was a multi award-winning gin, then there was Connacht’s First Whiskey in 104 Years. The shed distillery of PJ Rigney has earned a name as an innovator and as one of Leitrim’s must-visit for drink enthusiasts.
Visitors are welcome to book a Gin Cocktail Experience at The Shed Distillery, which will immerse them in a fun, self-guided experience and allow them to try a Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Cocktail on the terrace. Tickets are only €10.
The distillery’s Jackalope Café is also opening for takeaway and outdoor dining.
Where: Carrick on Shannon Road, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim.
More info: thesheddistillery.com/visit-us
FRANCISCAN WELL BREWERY AND PUB
This Corkonian institution has been in business for two decades and while their canned craft beer can be found across Ireland’s off licences and pubs, there’s nothing like enjoying it at its home.
Franciscan Well Brewery and Brew Pub is based on the site of an ancient Franciscan monastery and the actual ‘well’ is still flowing today! It is one of Cork City’s best and most popular beer gardens.
Enjoy a comprehensive beer menu with their own brews as well as other independent and local beers, and if you’re feeling hungry, order a pizza by food partners Pompei Pizza. Walk-ins are welcome, but booking is recommended.
Where: 14B North Mall,Cork City,Co Cork, Republic of Ireland
More info: franciscanwellbrewery.com
With the motto ‘science, community, nature’, this independent distillery celebrates craft spirits in the heart of Dublin 8, but it also strives to be a positive actor with initiatives such as their community garden, which was awarded as the best in the city by Dublin City Council in 2020.
Visitors can book a Garden Session and enjoy an outdoors tour of their botanical garden with a complimentary cocktail. Tickets at €10. They also have a heated outdoors terrace where you can taste their house cocktails.
For those wishing to delve deeper into the arts of cocktail making or distilling, they run masterclasses and distilling academy sessions. Check their calendar to find out the next available dates.
Where: Goldenbridge Estate, Tyrconnell Rd., Inchicore, Dublin 8.
More info: stillgardendistillery.com
WICKLOW WAY WINES
Pamela and Brett created Móinéir wines back in 2016, the first bottle was made with Irish strawberries and it proved a hit at Bloom that year. Now they make three different types of wine from Irish berries (strawberry, raspberry and blackberry), all celebrating Ireland’s countryside and crafted sustainably.
Thanks to a growing interest and curiosity, they decided to open for tours and tastings. Currently, the experience is only available for pre-booked small groups, and the tour includes a visit to the winery, followed by a tasting of their range accompanied by cheese and chocolate.
Where: Unit 8, Newtown Business and Enterprise Centre, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow.
More info: wicklowwaywines.ie
THE GUINNESS OPEN GATE BREWERY
This craft beer lover’s haven has reopened and is welcoming visitors with a long list of exciting beers to try and delicious food.
Their opening hours are Thursday to Saturday from 5pm to 10:30pm and Sundays between 2pm to 5pm. Booking is essential as they are not currently hosting walk-ins, and it can be made online.
Their taproom and beer garden is up to date with all guidelines and their team of beer specialists will help you get everything you’d like from the comfort of your seat. Alongside their various brews, you’ll be tempted to pick a bit or two from their new menu, created with pairings in mind.
Where: Guinness Open Gate Brewery, Saint James’, Dublin.
More info: guinnessopengate.com
The world’s oldest continuously licensed distillery has reopened and designed a series of experiences whiskey lovers can book this summer. Pre-booking for all of them is essential.
Experiences include a Kilbeggan Cocktail of the Day Demonstration, Irish Coffee Demonstration and Whiskey of the Day. These are all informal and in small groups, with a duration of 30 minutes each.
Where: Lower Main St., Aghamore, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
More info: kilbegganwhiskey.com
ARTICLE BY GABY GUEDEZ