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Date set for reopening of Smithwick’s Experience in Kilkenny City

There was huge public outcry when the doors were shut

A date’s been set for the reopening of the Smithwick’s Experience.

There was a huge public outcry in April 2021 when Diageo announced it was to close the doors on the popular Kilkenny city attraction permanently. (Read that here and here).

That decision was later reversed and today the drinks giant confirmed to KCLR News that it’ll be back in action within the next fortnight. (See statement below).

Chair of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, says it’s great; “It’s wonderful news that we received today that the Kilkenny Smithwick’s Experience is going to reopen down in Parliament Street and, you know, that was something that we really regretted to see closing there a couple of years ago, look it there’s been a lot of work put in by a lot of people, including the council, the local business people and the Vintners Association and everything so I’m delighted that it’s going to open on the 15th of July and that’s great news for Kilkenny”.

He adds the benefit is further reaching; “Great news for the whole of the south-east because tourism in Kilkenny and tourism in the south-east, we’re all working together for the betterment and this is vital for Kilkenny, it’s a very important initiative, I was delighted when it opened many, many years ago adn then to see it close was very, very sad but a lot of people really believed in fighting to keep it and get it reopened I’m delighted that Diageo and indeed the Vintners and indeed Kilkenny County Council have all supported the project to bring it back so please, go out and support it”.

Image: from Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick

Statement from Diageo

Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny is delighted to announce the re-opening of its doors to visitors this July. The experience will officially re-open on Friday, 15 July 2022, with exciting new spaces and enhancements throughout.

Speaking about the reopening, Catherine Toolan, Managing Director, Brand Homes Diageo Ireland said; “We are absolutely delighted to be re-opening the doors of Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, and look forward to welcoming visitors from Kilkenny, as well as those visiting the city. We are immensely proud of our association and long-standing relationship that we have enjoyed with Kilkenny, and we are excited to continue our role in the city’s tourism offering, and in celebrating Smithwick’s brewing heritage.”

The unique Smithwick’s Experience explores over 300 years of history with brewing excellence, providing visitors with an immersive, multi-sensory experience celebrating Smithwick’s, Ireland’s most popular ale.

As well as offering first-hand experience of the brewing process, tour guides take visitors on a storytelling journey, introducing guests to memorable characters along the way. There are also new investments and innovations added to the experience as part of the reopening.

Toolan continued; “On arrival, visitors will see the striking new mural that represents the vibrant culture and rich history of Kilkenny. As you step inside, visitors can now experience our new Smithwick’s Flavour Room. The Smithwick’s Flavour Room is a sensory experience that immerses the visitor in the raw ingredients of Smithwick’s Red Ale and how they combine to bring life to the beer. Later this summer, we will unveil our new outdoor space, which will expand the experience, allow for more capacity and offer visitors the chance to enjoy a cool beer in an outdoor setting.”

Also speaking today at the re-opening of the Smithwick’s Experience, Sarah Fitzpatrick from Failte Ireland said; “The re-opening of the Smithwick’s experience is positive news for tourism in Kilkenny, as having a wide range of experiences and attractions on offer encourages visitors to come and explore the area. Smithwick’s has been a part of Kilkenny’s history and heritage for over 300 years, and this experience will draw international and domestic visitors to Kilkenny and the wider Ireland’s Ancient East region, supporting economic benefit for the local community and increasing dwell time in the region.”

Tickets to the Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny are available to purchase from today and cost €18 which includes the tour and a complimentary pint. Group rates are also available on request. For tickets and more information log onto smithwicksexperience.com or email [email protected]