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Smithwick’s opens brewery tours

Smithwick's recently announced details of its new brewery tours and exhibition which have now begun at St Francis Abbey Brewery, Kilkenny.

Smithwick’s recently announced details of its new brewery tours and exhibition which have now begun at St Francis Abbey Brewery, Kilkenny. Launched to commemorate 300 years of brewing tradition in Kilkenny, the new ‘300 years of Smithwick’s’ tour takes visitors walking around Ireland’s oldest operating brewery.
Highlights of the new fully-guided brewery tour include a chance to see the brewhouse where Smithwick’s is actually brewed and a visit to the medaieval St Francis Abbey which sits on the site of the brewery and dates back to the 13th Century.
Ian Hamilton, Operations Manager at St Francis Abbey Brewery, commented, “For many years visitors to Kilkenny and locals alike have wanted to take a tour of Ireland’s oldest brewery.  In celebration of our 300 year anniversary this year, we’re delighted to be able to open our doors to the public and give them a rare glimpse behind the historic walls of St Francis Abbey Brewery”.
Following on from a stop at the St Francis Abbey site, visitors drop into the Tasting Room where Smithwick’s official tasters check and ensure the quality of every brew. Here, a short video explains the brewing process for Ireland’s favourite ale.  Next stop is the working brewery floor for a rare opportunity to see the ale actually being brewed. The tour culminates with a tutored tasting session by the Smithwick’s tour guide and a complimentary drink in the brewery’s Cellar Bar.  
In addition to the brewery tour, visitors can experience the story of the evolution of the St Francis Abbey Brewery from the founding of the Abbey in the 13th century to the present through visuals, artifacts, pictures and audio in the new exhibition space.  The exhibit covers the generations of the Smithwick’s family involved in the brewery, the ingredients & brewing processes, the brewing awards won since 1892 and the advertising and packaging of Smithwick’s.
However the success of the brewery has not prevented the axe falling on one third of its employees by 2011 with the news that kegging of the product is to move to St James’s Gate in Dublin.
The move will reduce the brewery’s workforce to under 60.

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