Day 1 – Dublin City to Carlingford, Co Louth
Depart Dublin and travel to one of Ireland’s most impressive sites deserving of UNESCO status. Newgrange is a 5,200 year old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley in Ireland’s Ancient East. Newgrange is a monument or ancient temple which was rich in ceremonial and spiritual importance to the Stone Age or Neolithic people.
Our first brewery visit is to Brehon Brewhouse which is housed on the farm so it’s quite possible Seamús will have some farm jobs rounded up for us whilst touring the brewery. We will avoid ‘milking time’ but if anyone wants to taste the milk that goes to the local Bailey’s factory to make Bailey’s Irish Creme we can include that in our tastings.
Visit a 5,000 year old dolmen or portal tomb en route to Carlingford Brewing Company which is located on the Cooley peninsula, an impressive location complete with a 13th century mill. Des is producing a range of beers named after local stories and legends which he will impart over beer tastings in his tap room.
Overnight in Carlingford village, a coastal town which retains its medieval layout. Very pleasant to walk along the waters edge to King John’s Castle or take a ramble up Slieve Foy behind the village for even better views. Carlingford offers excellent choices of restaurants and pubs in just a few narrow streets.
Breweries: Brehon Brewhouse
Producers of: Killanney Red, Stony Grey IPA, Brehon Blonde,
Breweries: Carlingford Brewing Company
Producers of: Tholsel Blonde, Taaffe’s Red, Kind John’s Stout, Long Woman’s IPA
Day 2 – Carlingford, Co Louth to Portrush, Co. Antrim
A short hop to Northern Ireland to visit Belfast its largest city. Belfast was a centre of the Irish linen, tobacco processing, rope-making and shipbuilding industries. In the early 20th century the Titanic was built and set off from what was the world’s biggest shipyard. Optional tour of the Titanic Experience which extends over nine interactive galleries.
Option 2: Black Taxi Tour takes you on a tour of the areas of West Belfast which experienced most of the Troubles. See the wall murals which tell the story of Belfast’s political and religious history.
Visit Boundary Brewing in Belfast city, a Cooperative Brewery owned and run by it’s members. The Boundary team are experimenting with bringing together modern US styles with the more traditional Belgian/French style beers which promises some unique tasting beers.
Drive North to the Causeway Coast and overnight in the small seaside town of Portrush on the Antrim Coastline. Visit Lacada Brewery, a community owned brewery based in Portrush who take pride in their sense of place with the beauty and wildness of the North Atlantic on their doorsteps.
Breweries: Boundary Brewery
Producers of: Berliner Vice, D’etre, Imbongo
Breweries: Lacada Brewery
Producers of: Giants Organ IPA, Sorley Boys Stash Golden Ale, Stranded Bunny Porter
Day 3 – Portrush, Co. Antrim to Derry City
The Giant’s Causeway is a World Heritage Site area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of volcanic lava flow not to be missed when on the spectacular causeway coast. We will get there first thing in the morning to enjoy this area of natural beauty before the crowds. Some nice walks to enjoy whilst visiting the Famous Giant’s Causeway.
In 1608, King James 1 granted a local landowner a license to distil In the small village of Bushmills. On the banks of the River Bush is where the oldest working distillery in Ireland is located. Tour the historical old distillery and taste their finest water of life – directly translated from the Irish word for whiskey uisce beatha.
Visit Derry City, In 1613, the city was granted a Royal Charter by King James and gained the “London” prefix to reflect the funding of its construction by the London guilds. Within the walls which are still standing today is where you will take the award winning Martin McCrossan walking tour of Derry. This is by far the best way to get an insight into Derry’s history and where it stands today.
Cross the Peace Bridge to Walled City Brewery for a tour and tasting of their beers. Dinner in the gastro pub attached to the nano brewery. Overnight in the city of Derry.
Distillery: Bushmills Distillery
Producers of: Bushmills Original, Black Bush, 10/16/21 year old Single Malt Whiskey
Breweries: Walled City Brewery
Producers of: Boom Derry Pale Ale, Stitch IPA, Kicks Pilsner
Day 4 – Derry City to Sligo
Start the day with a view taking in Co Donegal and Co Derry, on a clear day you can see the inlets and hills of Donegal. Grianán of Aileach is a circular stone fort thought to have been built in the sixth or seventh century with a 244 metres vantage point, a great photo op.
Visit Kinnegar Brewery, named after Kinnegar Beach in County Donegal where the brewery was started by Rick and Libby at their rural home. K2 has recently opened, a newly expanded brewery in Letterkenny, the largest town in Donegal. Rick has always been passionate about his beers and getting on the tourist trail so this move will allow more Kinnegar beers to reach more people especially since Donegal recently was awarded first place on National Geographic Traveller’s Cool List.
Visit Donegal Brewing brewpub in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, which claims to be the oldest town in Ireland and is home of the famous guitarist Rory Gallagher. The off – licence/ liquor store located on site at Dicey’s Reilly’s bar is well worth perusing for the impressive selection of wine and beer.
Overnight in the coastal village of Aughris on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Breweries: Kinnegar Brewery
Producers of: Limeburner Pale Ale, Devil’s Backbone Amber ale, Scraggy Bay IPA, Rustbucket Rye Ale, Yannaroddy porter.
Breweries: Donegal Brewery
Producers of: Donegal Blonde, Atlantic Amber Ale, Sea Sessions Pale Ale, North & South of the river
Day 5 – Sligo to Westport
Follow the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way coast around to Ballina which sits on the River Moy, Ireland’s most famous salmon fishing river.
Visit Markus all the way from Yorkshire who set up Reel Deel brewery in his now home town of Crossmolina.
Explore more of Co Mayo by taking a bumpy but beautiful drive by Lough Conn.
Ballycroy National Park is Ireland’s sixth National Park which comprises of Atlantic blanket bog and mountainous terrain. Get away from the world and feel part of nature, enjoy a walk in the most uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness that Ireland has to offer.
Overnight in the beautiful town of Westport, Co Mayo. Enjoy lots of pubs, restaurants and music in this lively town.
Breweries: Reel Deel
Producers of: Irish Blonde, Jack the Lad, Say Nowt Stout
Day 6 – Westport to Dublin
Visit the National Famine Memorial at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain!
No trip would be complete without a trip to visit White Hag, ancient Irish Mythology will tell you that The White Hag was a witch present in everything through the pure water of the earth which is brewed into great beer by Joe the brew-master from Ohio at White Hag Brewery. He has made a great range of beers over the last 2 years even incorporating ancient brewing methods of using heather instead of hops. Irish Heather Ale was aged in a classic French red wine barrel for extra depth of flavour.
Lunch on the River Shannon in the lovely town of Carrick on Shannon.
Travel back to Dublin in the afternoon, drop offs and hugs in the city centre.
Breweries: White Hag Brewery
Producers of: Irish Heather Ale, Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Wit Beer, Bog Ale and lots more.