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Ireland Hike, Distillery, & Brewery Adventure with Brew Your Own Magazine

August 27 - September 2, 2021

“May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!”

An Irish Toast

This Tour Is Sold Out! Please contact us if you’d like to be added to the waitlist.

Brad Ring Hiking


Brad Ring, Publisher of Brew Your Own Magazine, personally invites you to join him on this exclusive and epic beer adventure.

Céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes)! Despite being a relatively small country, Ireland has made some fairly big contributions to worldwide beer culture. Chances are when you hear the words “Irish pub” you can conjure up a pretty distinct image that has been imitated around the globe. Irish beer history reaches all the way back to the Bronze age when the first form of beer in Ireland is believed to have been brewed, though a variety of plants and herbs take the place of hops. And taking a look at modern day, Ireland is well within a craft beer boom, developing new creative brews around the country.

Join your fellow beer enthusiasts as we spend our days in perfect balance between physical activities and beer-focused experiences. Our evenings are spent in accommodations that range from fun and modern hotels to warm and welcoming country guesthouses.

We’ll explore breweries ranging from the very well-known such as Guinness to smaller, newer craft breweries you may have never heard of. We not only learn about and taste the end product but we’ll visit the top Irish malt producer, The Malting Company of Ireland, to learn more about this important ingredient. And as a change of pace, we’ll also sample a bit of the harder stuff and visit a few whiskey distilleries, including the Jameson Distillery and Kilbeggan Distillery.

We’ll be pairing our beer experiences with a variety of splendid, picturesque hikes throughout the Irish countryside and coastline. We’ll visit some of the top natural sights in the country such as the Cliffs of Moher and the Dingle Peninsula as well as try to garner a bit of luck by visiting Blarney Castle to kiss the famed stone.

As a bonus, we’ll have the special experience of meeting with a local Irish homebrewers club to swap stories and beer recipes while sipping a few pints. Feel free to bring a few samples of your own homebrews (if you can fit them in your checked luggage)!

This is a private adventure brought to you by:

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Details

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Trip Highlights

  • Touring and tasting at breweries and brew pubs such as Guinness, Metal Man, West Kerry Brewery, and more
  • Hiking along a variety of trails, taking in Ireland's stunning beauty
  • Meeting local homebrewers to swap beers and stories
  • Visiting several famous Irish whiskey distilleries
  • Seeing some of Ireland's iconic sights such as the Blarney Stone and the Cliffs of Moher
Day 1

Fáilte (Welcome) to Ireland! Our adventure starts at 1:00 PM, allowing you to arrive in Dublin this morning or the day before (which we highly recommend). After a few short introductions, we head out on an educational and fun walking tour of Dublin to learn about the history and culture of this incredible city. We end our tour at the Guinness's Storehouse, located in the heart of the St. James's Gate Brewery. We'll enjoy an engaging self-guided tour that ends with a pint of their iconic beer. We'll then head over to the Guinness Open Gate Experimental Brewery to taste some of the new creations. We finish things off with a wonderful welcome dinner at Porterhouse Brewing. After dinner, you can walk back to our hotel or head out for a pub crawl in Dublin's famous Temple Bar neighborhood.

Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll head out on the road for our first brewery stop of the day, Sullivan's Brewing Company, a revival of a historical Irish brewery known for their delicious Irish Red Ale. Once we've whet our whistle, we'll continue on to the stunning Comeragh Mountains where we'll set out on a hike where we'll be surrounded by Ireland's rustic natural beauty. Our trail leads us to Mahon Falls, an 80-meter high waterfall, through the heather-filled Comeragh Plateau, and through Kilclooney Woods. We'll enjoy a nice, light picnic lunch while out on the trail. We'll continue on our way and head for our next brewery visit at Metal Man Brewing in Waterford. We'll then check into our hotel and have a bit of free time to explore Ireland's oldest city before heading to dinner at a local gastro pub with over 30 craft beers on tap. Hiking Distance: 10 KM

Day 3

This morning we depart the hotel and start our day with a taste of something a wee bit stronger than beer - Irish whiskey! We'll visit the Jameson Distillery, Ireland's most famous whiskey distillery. We'll grab lunch on our own in town before heading out on a hike through one of Ireland's most spectacular coastal areas, the Old Head of Kinsale. We'll walk along the sea cliff trail, high above the majestic ocean, breathing in the fresh sea air and feeling like we've left the rest of the world behind. After, we'll head to Blacks Brewery and Distillery to quench our thirst. We'll then check into our hotel and grab dinner at a local restaurant ... and perhaps meet up with a local homebrewing club to swap stories and recipes! Hiking Distance: 6 KM

Day 4

Today, we will try to acquire a bit of good luck by heading to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. We'll also have some time to walk around their gorgeous gardens before getting back on the road. Our next stop is a visit to the Malting Company of Ireland where they've been producing fine Irish malt since 1858. We'll grab lunch on our own in the town of Killarney before hopping on a delightful boat ride through the famous lakes of Killarney. We'll disembark to start our hike to Lord Brandon's cottage and up the hillside to the breathtaking Gap of Dunloe. We'll make our way down the other side to Kate Kearney's cottage and maybe even grab a pint there before making our way to check into our hotel for the night. Dinner will be a fun beer and artisanal pizza pairing at the Killarney Brewing Company. Hiking Distance: 11 KM

Day 5

After breakfast, we'll check out of our hotel and head to the Dingle Peninsula and Ireland's southwest coast, named "The most beautiful place on earth" by National Geographic. We'll take in the beautiful coastline as well as the stunning three peaks of the Brackloon ridge. After, we'll head to the West Kerry Brewery, the original and first microbrewery in County Kerry, brewing traditional yet progressive beers. You'll then have time to explore the adorable town of Dingle and grab lunch on your own. We'll reconvene for another tasty whiskey tasting at the Dingle Distillery.  We'll then depart for the town of Limerick and check into our hotel. We'll enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant - with an optional visit to Mother Mac's craft beer bar for one last drink before heading to bed. Hiking Distance: 7.5 KM

Day 6

Today, we set out for another iconic Irish destination, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher! The Cliffs are a part of the UNESCO Global Geopark (a special region with outstanding geology) and rise an impressive 702 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at their highest points. We'll walk along the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Trail, taking in their raw natural beauty. We'll then make a stop at Burren Brewing to grab lunch on your own before we make our way to Galway. Before checking into our hotel, we'll stop at Galway Bay Brewery, one of Ireland's first brewpubs, for a tour and tasting. Tonight, we'll enjoy a lovely farewell dinner at a local farm-to-table restaurant that features exciting local craft beers. Hiking Distance: 13 KM

Day 7

After breakfast, we'll hit the road back to Dublin, making a fun pit stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery along the way.  We'll then say our farewells and drop you off at the Dublin airport for you to either hop on a flight home or continue exploring what Ireland has to offer.

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Trip Accommodations

PLEASE NOTE: Hotels may have smaller hotel rooms than you are used to (if you have traveled in Europe before, then you know what to expect) and there aren’t always elevators.

NIGHT 1 >> CAMDEN COURT HOTEL / DUBLIN

Located in the heart of Dublin's city center, our hotel offers modern accommodations with comfortable beds and is within walking distance of Temple Bar and many other Dublin landmarks.

NIGHT 2 >> DOOLEY'S HOTEL / WATERFORD

This charming 3rd generation, family-run hotel is located on the historic Merchants Quayside overlooking the River Suir and offers well-appointed, comfortable accommodations.

NIGHT 3 >> THE GABRIEL HOUSE GUESTHOUSE / CORK

Located high on a hill, this boutique hotel overlooks Cork's beautiful cathedral spires as well as the harbor. You'll easily relax in their comfortable accommodations after a day of hiking (and drinking!) and in the morning, we'll indulge in their famous Irish breakfast.

NIGHT 4 >> HEIGHTS HOTEL / KILLARNEY

Surrounded by sweeping countryside views of the Flesk Valley and the Torc & Mangerton mountains, this beautiful hotel prides itself in its warm and welcoming atmosphere. You'll enjoy their newly renovated guest rooms that were designed with your comfort in mind.

NIGHT 5 >> THE GEORGE / LIMERICK

This boutique-style hotel boasts an eclectic mix of contemporary style and comfort in a perfect central location, right in Limerick's city center.

NIGHT 6 >> EYRE SQUARE HOTEL / GALWAY

Located in the heart of Eyre Square in the center of Galway, this hotel offers warm and inviting accommodations amongst the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Arrival & Departure

You are free to arrive in Dublin (airport code: DUB) anytime you like prior to our after-lunch meeting on Day 1. This allows you to travel the day before and arrive even that morning. However, we highly recommend arriving at least a day ahead of time to recover from your travel and any potential delays.

Our adventure ends the last afternoon of the trip in Dublin where we will drop all guests off at the airport around 12:30 pm to either catch their flight home (we would suggest not booking a flight earlier than 3:30 pm) or continue on to explore more of what Ireland has to offer.

What's Included?
  • Two Zephyr guides accompany this trip (one from the US and one local Irish guide).  Brad Ring, publisher of Brew Your Own Magazine, will also be on the trip as your host.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If you are traveling solo, we will match you with another traveler of the same gender. However, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
  • All breakfasts and dinners are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. We have left lunches open so that you have time to explore and enjoy the local flavors en route.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day until we say goodbye in Dublin on the last day.
  • All scheduled tastings and brewery/distillery visits are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED Beverages, desserts, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Weather

The weather in Ireland is always a bit unpredictable. In late August/early September, the weather is cool yet comfortable with the highs during the day in the mid-60s and the lows at night in the 50s. You'll want to bring layers that can easily be taken off and on during our various hikes. You'll especially want to bring rain gear as we may experience showers throughout the tour - it is Ireland after all!

Ability Level

This tour is rated For All Abilities and is a moderately active trip but with relatively easy hiking with some incline where you can take your time and go at your own pace. Daily mileage varies depending on beer tastings and other activities for each day but is roughly 6 - 13 kilometers for hiking.  While you will get daily activity by walking each day, this is not the best trip for someone looking for a major workout and tons of mileage (check out some of our other hiking trips for that!).  Conversely, this is not the best trip for someone not interested in being active on vacation (check out our Taste Vacations for that).

Drive Time

In order to see and do as much as possible on this tour, we do have quite a bit of van time to get from place to place. We try to break up the driving with stops along the way as best we can. The good news is, the Irish countryside is absolutely beautiful, so you'll always have something pleasant to look at out the window!

Changes to the itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a brewery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.

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