Smithwick’s puts €3m into the Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny

At the announcement in Kilkenny was Paul Carty, Managing Director at the Guinness Storehouse and RTÉ Sports presenter, Evanne Né Chuilinn.
At the announcement in Kilkenny was Paul Carty, Managing Director at the Guinness Storehouse and RTÉ Sports presenter, Evanne Né Chuilinn.

Smithwick’s has announced a €3 million investment project for Kilkenny that will see a major transformation of the existing Smithwick’s Visitor Centre into a state-of-the-art visitor experience.



13 June 2013

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The Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny will be testament to the role that the St Francis Abbey Brewery and the people of Kilkenny played in shaping over 300 years of heritage, tradition and its influence on Irish cultural life.

“Fáilte Ireland, along with the local authority, is making a multi-million €uro tourism investment in Kilkenny as we believe that the city has a strong tourism future with great potential to grow visitors, revenue and jobs in the region,” said Gary Breen, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the South East, “Smithwick’s have obviously recognised this and the significant investment they have announced today will deliver a state-of-the-art visitor centre which will complement our work to grow local tourism and – as an exciting and hands-on attraction – has the potential of becoming a major magnet for increased tourist numbers to the South East”.  

Over the next nine months, the Victorian brewing building at St Francis Abbey Brewery will be transformed into an interactive visitor centre. 

The Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny will be a sensory, tactile visitor experience that immerses the visitor in Ireland’s oldest beer brand; the history, the brewing craft, the future and ultimately, tasting the pint. Visitors will be able to experience the mediaeval origins of brewing on the site to the arrival of the John Smithwick. They will discover the Kilkenny-Smithwicks connections through the years with interactive installations bringing the story right up-to-date.

The investment will be a major boost for the tourism potential of Kilkenny and its catchment area. It’s envisaged that the project will welcome thousands of visitors each year and it’s estimated that 40 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project. Around 12 more will be created when the Centre opens in Spring 2014.  In addition it’s expected that there will be significant indirect employment for the Kilkenny region once opened.

Commenting on the announcement, Diageo’s Country Manager David Smith said, “This is a very significant announcement for the company and represents Diageo Ireland’s largest capital expenditure announcement since the €153 million expansion and re-development of the St James’s Gate Brewery”.

In order to secure the long-term future of brewing in Ireland, a new brewing centre of excellence is being built at St James’s Gate in Dublin and the brewery in Kilkenny is scheduled to close at the end of 2013.   



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