John Smithwick – Public domain

John Smithwick

John Smithwick – Public domain

par Guide Irlande

John Smithwick is the famous founder of Smithwick’s brewery based in Kilkenny. A man of the 18th century, he was with Arthur Guinness, one of the most influential Irish brewers in Ireland! With a national success, his beers are now exported all over the world!

John Smithwick

An inventive and visionary brewer

A Smithwick's - Jessie Hodge - cc

A Smithwick’s – Jessie Hodge – cc

John Smithwick’s success story begins in 1710, when the entrepreneur decided to acquire the ruins of an old 13th century abbey based in Kilkenny, known as “St Francis Abbey”. Aware of the character of the place, he decided not to destroy the abbey, but to use it as a brewery for his future beer.

After many attempts, he eventually developed the recipe for Smithwick’s beer, a light, redheaded beer to be served in most pubs across the country. Success quickly followed, and the brewery eventually grew to become a real industrial machine.

After a few years of production, Smithwick’s (pronounced Smit-icks) would establish itself as a quality brewery, capable of producing thousands of kegs of beer for delivery throughout Ireland. A success that later convinced the famous Arthur Guinness to start his own brewery within the walls of Dublin!


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