Best Breweries and Distilleries in Ireland
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

4 of the Best Breweries and Distilleries in Ireland

When tourists talk about Ireland, they gush about the famous landmarks, cathedrals and castles. But the locals usually talk about the nitty gritty of history, culture, and traditions.

But there’s one thing both tourists and locals can agree on what Ireland is famous for—its alcoholic drinks! Yes, the Emerald Isle is home to some of the best world class breweries and distilleries!  

Most of them are open to public tours, but if you’d like to learn more right now, then read our guide below!

The Cost of Visiting the Best Breweries and Distilleries in Ireland

The following table summarises the entrance fees for adults to five of Ireland’s top breweries and distilleries. The rates come directly from the official websites and might change without prior notice:

BREWERIES & DISTILLERIESESTIMATED PRICE
Killarney Brewing & Distilling Company€23.00–24.50
Dingle Distillery€18.00
Jameson Distillery€26.00–41.00 (depending on the type of tour)
Smithwick's Experience€18.00–50.00 (depending on the type of tour)
The Wicklow Brewery€20.00

Best Breweries and Distilleries in Ireland

The top breweries and distilleries in the country are reviewed based on the following:

Location and accessibility indicate how easy it is to visit the brewery or distillery most especially for those who don’t live in the area.
Every brewery or distillery tour allows visitors to experience having a taste of the drink selection it offers either through a taste test or through the adjoining pub or restaurant.
Tour price talks about how the rates should reasonably match the experience and the duration of the tour to ensure value of money. 
Visitor reviews are important because they let us know the firsthand experiences of the previous guests including the professionalism of the staff, communication styles, knowledge, and the overall customer service.

1. Killarney Brewing & Distilling Company

Killarney Brewing & Distilling Company
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://killarneybrewingdistilling.com/
ADDRESSKillalee, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 FA43, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 64 663 6505

OPERATING HOURSWednesday - Saturday: 1:00 PM - 11:30 PM

Sunday: 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Location★★★★☆ (4/5)
Drink selection★★★★★ (5/5)
Variety      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Taste      ★★★★★ (5/5)
Tour price (Higher score = better value)★★★★☆ (4/5)
Duration      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Experience and activities      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Visitor reviews★★★★☆ (4/5)

Killarney Brewing & Distilling Company is the country’s largest independently owned brewery and distillery, hence also one of the most well known. We put it on our must-visit list because of its tour offers and restaurant offers.

According to locals and tourists we were able to chat with, the tour they had at Killarney Brewing & Distilling was the highlight of their trip. They loved how informative the tour was!

You’ll even get to do a taste test during the tour. The company really makes great beers, and you might want to take advantage of that while you’re visiting.

In addition to this, they told us the tour guide was very knowledgeable as well–not only did she know everything about the processes, but she could also answer questions well. We love a good tour guide because it makes the experience better!

Speaking of better, to us a visit to Killarney Brewing & Distilling won’t be complete without checking out its pub called the Taproom. It has an extensive food menu list which you can pair with an alcoholic beverage straight from the source!

We also love that you get to enjoy your food and drinks while having the majestic Macgillycuddy’s Reeks as your view. Who wouldn’t love eating with such a relaxing aesthetic in front of you?

Just a warning—make sure you reserve in advance for a sure slot for the tour. It’s also worth noting that pets are allowed in the brewery, but you might check the size of your dogs if they fall under the requirements because the admission rules are a bit vague.

Pros

  • Informative tour
  • Knowledgeable tour guide
  • Has a pub called the Taproom that serves good food and drinks
  • Attentive pub staff
  • Amazing beer 
  • Great mountain view

Cons

  • Strictly needs reservations
  • Vague pet-friendly rules

Customer Reviews

Informative brewery experience and amazing restaurant

We did the brewery tour and had dinner and it was amazing! The tour guide was so kind and answered all the questions I had – plus I got a little emotional when I walked into the Chicago Pub room and saw all the different Chicago posters, Chicago maps, etc. It was very cool to have a slice of home here in Ireland. At dinner we got the fried chicken to share and it was truly amazing. 5/5 meal and the staff and experience were amazing as well! Thank you for such a lovely time! — MK Andersen, Google Reviews

Detailed tour and a restaurant with a good view

This was our first distillery tour in Ireland and it was extremely worth it. For both those entirely new to beer and spirits and those who already have experience and some knowledge, it is a great choice and we highly recommend it to anyone visiting Killarney or doing the Ring of Kerry road tour. The tour explains the process of beer making in a way that is easy to comprehend, while still interesting to those with prior knowledge. The staff are passionate and unbelievably kind. The beer is incredible and the stout we reckon is even better than the Guinness due to its intense flavour over just being bitter. The food in the bar and restaurant is equally worth noting as the pork ribs we had were again, another form of solid happiness. The distillery also boasts amazing architecture and aesthetics and some grand views of the Macgillycuddy’s. Needless to say, we can’t thank enough the staff and the tour guide for the amazing experience.— Luka Perko, Google Reviews

2. Dingle Distillery

Dingle Distillery
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://dingledistillery.ie/
ADDRESSDingle Distillery, Kilfountan, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 86 777 5551

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Location★★★★☆ (4/5)
Drink selection★★★★★ (5/5)
Variety      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Taste      ★★★★★ (5/5)
Tour price (Higher score = better value)★★★★☆ (4/5)
Duration      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Experience and activities      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Visitor reviews★★★★☆ (4/5)

If you’re visiting Dingle, we recommend dropping by Dingle Distillery for a tour. Not only will you enjoy the tour with its fascinating history and processes, but you’ll also get to taste several alcoholic beverages the company offers!

According to some locals who already visited the distillery, if you’re a fan of gin, vodka, and whiskey, the tour will be a chance for you to taste them straight from the source. Not only that, you’ll also get the chance to see first-hand how they’re made.

Dingle Distillery doesn’t have a restaurant where you can enjoy your drink in peace, though. You’ll have to taste their alcoholic beverages through the tour (and the shop if you want to buy bottles). 

And we love that you have a chance to taste all of them during several parts of the tour. As the tour guide takes you on an informative journey to the distilling processes, you’ll get to drink the samples along the way, which is one of the highlights of the tour.

We want to commend the tour guide as well for being organised and passionate about the distillery itself. It’s more fun if the person that tells you a story about a place sounds enthusiastic about it because it also makes you absorb the information better.

Just to let you know in advance: while the tour is pocket-friendly, the merchandise is a little expensive. But then again, you don’t get to visit Dingle Distillery all the time, so buying a souvenir or two is worth it!

Pros

  • Gives plenty of taste samples during the tour (vodka, gin, whiskey)
  • Very detailed tour
  • Competent tour guide
  • Welcoming staff
  • Amazing lake view

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a restaurant
  • Expensive merchandise

Customer Reviews

Knowledgeable tour guide

We really enjoyed our tour of the distillery and learning about the history and growth of the company as well as their process for making spirits. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and lots of fun as well! My friends went for the whiskey and I went for the gin and we loved it all! It was really lovely to first have the sense of pride and community the distillery has and learn how they work locally with farmers to source their ingredients as well as redistribute their byproducts. Worth a visit if you’re in Dingle!— Kate Tegtmeyer, Google Reviews

Booking ahead is recommended

Great distillery in Dingle. The tour is worth it and the tasters show you how excellent their work is. The tour guide is super knowledgeable.  Book ahead to ensure you get a spot— Sean Halperin, Google Reviews

3. Jameson Distillery

Jameson Distillery
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/en-ie/visit-our-distilleries/jameson-bow-street-distillery-tour/
ADDRESSBow St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 N9VH, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 1 807 2355

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Sunday: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Location★★★★☆ (4/5)
Drink selection★★★★☆ (4/5)
Variety      ★★★★☆ (5/5)
Taste      ★★★★☆ (5/5)
Tour price (Higher score = better value)★★★★★ (5/5)
Duration      ★★★★☆ (5/5)
Experience and activities      ★★★★☆ (5/5)
Visitor reviews★★★★☆ (4/5)

What we love about Jameson Distillery is its organised but fun tours. It hasn’t exactly been functioning as a distillery for a long time, but it’s still on our list because it keeps the experience alive for all its visitors!

For one—there’s the very detailed guided tour with a very enthusiastic tour guide. The tour guide knows what he or she is talking about, and makes sure that the visitors will get all the history about the distillery and the information about the beverages.

We love that there are several tours as well, so you can choose which one appeals to you the most. According to former visitors, they preferred the black barrel self-bottling experience as well as the cocktail-making class!

The classes teach you the distilling process from start to finish. And we appreciate that you’re also going to be hands-on and engaged with the activity, and not just casual observers.

The best part about it is after letting you experience firsthand the distilling process, you’ll get to enjoy a complimentary drink at the end. You can bring this drink to the bar, which, by the way, also offers other drinks you might want to try.

The only complaints we learned about the place is that sometimes the tours are rushed. Also, if you’re late to your schedule, you won’t be allowed entry—and there’s strictly no refund—so make sure you arrive on time or earlier!

Pros

  • Has a bar with extensive cocktail menu
  • Organised but fun tour
  • Black Barrel self-bottling experience
  • Enthusiastic tour guide
  • Offers different tours for different experiences
  • Friendly staff
  • Has a gift shop 
  • Complimentary drink included on the tour
  • Spotless bathrooms

Cons

  • Strictly no refunds
  • Tour is rushed sometimes

Customer Reviews

Black Barrel self-bottling experience is a must-try

This was such an amazing experience! The tour and the tastings were outstanding, and the establishment itself is very appealing. Or for a guide, Robin was such a great brand ambassador and she made the experience very pleasant and enjoyable. We had a lot of fun with Katie when my brother purchased the “Black Barrel self bottling experience” she was a lot of fun, joking and laughing with us. We really enjoyed ourselves here! — Jeffrey Linares, Google Reviews

Organised tour

I visited 3 whiskey distilleries in Ireland and Jameson had the best experience of any of them, and was one of my favourite things we did in Dublin. The tour was very well put together (and Nial was an excellent guide). The add on cask draw was also cool. The bar there was also really good. In addition to their normal cocktail menu they had a whole old fashioned menu, we tried 3 of them and all were delicious. I would also recommend the bottle your own black barrel option to any whiskey fans. — Calvin Lenz, Google Reviews

4. Smithwick’s Experience

Smithwick's Experience
TestInfo
WEBSITEhttps://www.smithwicksexperience.com/
ADDRESS44 Parliament St, Gardens, Kilkenny, R95 VK54, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 56 778 6377

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Location★★★★★ (5/5)
Drink selection★★★★☆ (4/5)
Variety      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Taste      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Tour price (Higher score = better value)★★★★☆ (4/5)
Duration      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Experience and activities      ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Visitor reviews★★★★☆ (4/5)

Doing the Smithwick’s Experience is one of the best things you can do when you visit Kilkenny. While the place is now more of an attraction than an actual distillery, you’ll still get to experience how it is to visit a functional distillery.

For one, the tour’s really unique. Smithwich’s stays true to its name and really brings everything to the experience with no holds barred.

Some of the visitors we talked to gushed about how amazing the presentation was. The visuals are on-point and stunning, and you’ll also get to experience hologram narrators, sensory training, talking paintings, and interesting facts about the distillery!

We love that the tour guides know so much about the history and the products. We also appreciate how enthusiastic and passionate they sound whenever they tell the story or relay information to the visitors.

At the end of the tour, there’s beer tasting—though you have to pay extra for this. The tour ticket alone is more expensive than the tours in other distilleries, but we think it’s worth every extra Euro.

Lastly, Smithwick’s has a pub where you can relax and have more good drinks. The bartender is welcoming and chatty, and will tell you more stories and information without asking, giving you that typical friendly Irish pub atmosphere.

Pros

  • Amazing tour presentation
  • Detailed information about the processes
  • Friendly tour guide
  • Sensory discovery of the ingredients
  • Welcoming staff
  • Has a pub where you can try more drinks and relax

Cons

  • Extra payment for the tasting at the end
  • Tour ticket is expensive

Customer Reviews

Amazing tour presentation and fantastic staff

The tour was fantastic!  They clearly put a lot of effort into the presentation of the history of the Smithwick’s brewery and family.  Anna was a terrific guide and answered all of my questions.  The lesson on the brewing process was quite comprehensive and interesting.  This is one of the best brewery tours I have done.  Highly recommended even if you already know your stuff. — Luke Burneson, Google Reviews

Tickets include a free drink!

Wonderful guided tour. Full of fascinating information and lots of amazing things to look at. The tickets also include a free drink.— Pete Windsor, Google Reviews

FAQs About Breweries and Distilleries in Ireland


Other than the unique taste of Irish alcoholic beverages, it’s also refreshing to know where and see how they’re made. If you want to specifically learn more about Irish beer, try the Top Breweries in Ireland.