Saint Francis Abbey Brewery, in Kilkenny City, is where Smithwick's Superior Irish Ale has been crafted and perfected since 1710. Guided tours of the brewery are available.
Over 300 years ago in 1710, John Smithwick began brewing his first Ales, although the Smithwick’s story started long before then.
He chose the site of an ancient monastery, St Francis Abbey in Kilkenny City, to position his brewery. John was inspired by a tradition of brewing on this site, the foundations of which were laid four centuries earlier.
Back in the 13th century the Franciscans established an Abbey, with its own well, on the banks of the River Nore in Kilkenny. Whilst brewing and barley cultivation are recorded in Irish Annals from the mists of time, the strong brewing tradition that exists in Kilkenny started with these monks who would have brewed their own light ale for their visitors, using water from St Francis' Well.
To this day the Abbey stands proudly at the heart of the brewery and continues to inspire our brewers.
Guided tours of Smithwick's Saint Francis Abbey Brewery are available. There are summer and winter schedules for tours. For groups of 12 or more there is a 20% discount. Pre booking is essential, please ring ahead for information.