The Great Distilleries and Breweries of our Region to Discover

Ireland has a long and interesting history of brewing and distilling. It was not until the 12th century that hops were introduced to Ireland. They quickly became popular and are now an essential ingredient in our much-loved Irish beer and stout.

In 1608 the first Irish Distillery was opened by Sir Thomas Phillips in Bushmills, County Antrim. It is still in operation today and was probably responsible for the boom in the Irish distilling industry right through to the present day.

Recently, Ireland has seen a revival of the whisky and gin industries. Likewise, as a nation we enjoy and consume a lot more of our locally brewed beers than ever before, with microbreweries popping up all over the island. There are literally hundreds of craft beers to enjoy, freshly brewed in all parts of the country.

Around Ireland’s Ancient East, which takes in Carlow, Kilkenny, and Tipperary, we want to introduce you to.

Here are some of the most famous distilleries and breweries in easy driving distance from Avlon House Bed and Breakfast that we think you’ll enjoy-

O’Hara’s – Carlow Brewing Company

Brewing stouts, ales and beers since 1996, this brewery teaches you about the brewing process, the history of the company and a visit to the tasting room completes your time there.

Ballykeefe Distillery, Kilkenny

Described as a ‘field to glass’ this award-winning distillery sows, grows and harvests its own grain for its whiskey production. If you are looking for a unique, and an example of a sustainable whiskey do consider stopping by for a tour. More information from their website.

Highbank Orchards, Kilkenny

Housed in a 19th century farmhouse, the smallest distillery in Ireland produces delicious cider and organic apple spirits which includes liqueur brandy and apple vodka. Tours are available by appointment only.

If you enjoy a wee drop of Irish whisky or sipping a locally brewed craft beer, then we highly recommend stopping by one of the above visitor attractions during your time in Carlow.