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Smithwick’s roll out the Barrel Yard

by Jimmy Rhatigan

GHOSTS of another time would have been in their element had they been on the guest list of a Smithwick’s Experience of a different kind yesterday, Wednesday.
For generations, the Beer Barrel Polka or Roll Out the Barrel, a rollicking beer-drinking sing-a-long was the anthem at the then Cellar Bar at the heart of Kilkenny City’s brewery land.
The Brewery Experience added to its repertoire yesterday, not in the form of song or dance but with the launch of its new Barrel Yard outdoor space and Flavours Room sensory experience.
The name of Diageo’s fantastic experience remains the same, but after a few jugs of the famous Smithwick’s Ale a wise old warrior may just suggest that it should be promoted to The Smithwicks Experiences.
The one-of-a-kind Smithwick’s Experience, heartbeat of Kilkenny’s Abbey Quarter, honours Ireland’s most popular ale and its 300-year history.
The experience reopened in July 2022 with exciting new spaces and enhancements.

The Barrel Yard, Smithwick’s Experience’s is the location of the former brewery yard where historically, large wooden barrels were repaired and stored ready to be filled with Smithwick’s Ale for distribution to pubs around Ireland.
In other times, this space would have been a hive of activity, remembered fondly by many of the old brewery workers and their families.
The Barrel Yard is ideal for visitors and tour groups to relax before and after their visit and for friends and family to gather and enjoy Smithwick’s famous red ale.
The Flavours Room, another exciting new addition, explores the ingredients and flavour profile of Smithwick’s.
The penultimate stop on the tour, visitors’ sense of sight, smell and touch will be engaged as they learn from the experts how the core ingredients of the iconic ale evolve from their rawest form into the beer itself.
Catherine Toolan, MD at Diageo Irish Brand Homes was proud as punch at the launch.
“We are excited to officially launch the new Barrel Yard and Flavours Room, two fantastic new additions to the Smithwick’s Experience.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Smithwick’s Experience to enjoy all new additions and enhancements over the coming months.”
The Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny opens Thursday to Monday inclusive.
Tickets from €16, including the tour and complimentary ale tasting for over 18s with a valid ID. Non-alcoholic options and soft drinks are also available. Group rates are available.
Others may try to emulate the Smithwick’s offering.
But our aforementioned spectres will counsel that pretenders to any throne won’t have a ghost of a chance.
Cheers to Smithwick’s, the bright beer that Kilkenny gave to the world of imbibing.

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