We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies

Smithwick's Experience Kilkenny launches new Masters of Ale Experience

Posted on: 23 May 2024

Smithwick's Experience Kilkenny is broadening its visitor appeal with a new Masters of Ale Experience which includes a sensorial tasting masterclass, a perfect pint pouring tutorial and an unforgettable journey back in time where participants learn about the prominent role the Smithwick family played in the evolution of Irish ale.


The 75-minute tour runs on Friday and Saturday evenings and on Thursday evenings from the start of June. Masters of Ale is the last tour each day. This allows participants maximum time to enjoy the sensory touchpoints and a sensorial tasting masterclass where visitors isolate the senses and break down the raw ingredients across different ale styles.


The Masters of Ale experience finishes with a guided tutorial in the bar on how to pour a perfect pint of Smithwick’s. Participants also receive an engraved Smithwick’s glass as a memento of their experience.


Masters of Ale has been trialled over the winter months and Ignacio Peregrina, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny Manager, said it’s proving a great success. Visitors are really engaged and their feedback has been exceptionally positive.  The traditional tours remain in situ at the award-winning site.


“We’re delighted to officially launch our brand-new Masters of Ale Experience. This new, premium experience will run on Friday and Saturday afternoons from 5.20pm from now until the end of August, with Thursday evenings added in from the start of June. It has been timed as a pre-dinner or night out activity to help continuously develop the night-time economy in Kilkenny city. Because it’s our last tour each day, visitors will have plenty time to really immerse themselves in this very special multi-sensory experience.


“We’re really excited about adding this experience to our programme on our former brewery site in the heart of medieval Kilkenny city. Masters of Ale allows us to satisfy the thirst of those visitors looking for a more immersive and experiential beer experience and hear the story behind one of Ireland's oldest and most popular ale. The Masters of Ale tour is an absolute must for the culturally curious and beer enthusiasts. The visitors from Ireland and all over the world who’ve trialled the tour have been really impressed and we’re very excited about it.”


Simon Walsh been guiding tours at Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny since it first opened. His family has worked at the site for several generations. He said trials of the tour with test groups were a phenomenal success and that they’ve tweaked the tour and its content to meet customer demand and ensure everyone enjoys the experience.


“On this tour we get to really explore the brewing process, the flavours and what makes Smithwick’s so special, so popular and appreciate all of the ingredients that go into our brew. We’re very proud of the Masters of Ale tour and really look forward to guiding even more visitors through these iconic gates as the busy tourist season now begins.”


Ignacio Peregrina looks forward to the new Masters of Ale tour drawing even greater numbers of visitors from Ireland, Europe, the US and even further afield to the iconic, city centre site as the unique Smithwick’s Experience celebrates, explores and immortalises over 300 years of history and brewing excellence.


“On the Masters of Ale tour visitors will journey back to the 13th Century on a fascinating tale of tradition, resilience, and innovation, begun by monastic settlements. This rich story told by our guides and showcased through our audio-visual displays explores why local wells provided the ideal water for brewing and how the tradition evolved. Masters of Ale really showcases our deep-rooted love for the craft and we’re looking forward to telling it to an even greater audience in the years to come.”


The Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny also includes designated Sensory Friendly tour times and enhancements throughout. Among these is The Barrel Yard, a cosy outdoor space in the traditional brewery yard where barrels were formerly repaired and stored. Today, it is an exciting, vibrant city centre space in the shadow of several of Kilkenny’s iconic, medieval landmarks. The Barrel Yard will be a hive of activity right throughout the summer and is open weekdays, along with hosting live music, DJ sessions, Street Food vendors and more every weekend until the end of September.


  • For more on Smithwick’s Experience, the Masters of Ale tour, traditional tours and the Barrel Yard sessions, visit www.smithwicksexperience.com