Saint Francis's Abbey Brewery

Horse Barrack Lane , Kilkenny , Co. Kilkenny

t: +353 56 7796498

Saint Francis's Abbey Brewery
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About Saint Francis's Abbey Brewery

Saint Francis's Abbey Brewery is located at Horse Barrack Lane in Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny.

In the 13th century Franciscan monks founded the Abbey and started brewing ale from the Friar's well. The Abbey grew for over 300 years but it was dissolved during the Reformation (1537) under Henry VIII. In 1705 Richard Cole leased the land from the Duke of Ormond and re-established the brewing business with John Smithwick, a Catholic who was forbidden from owning property under penal laws. In 1710, John Smithwick took secret ownership of the brewery and spent the next decades building up the business. None of John Smithwick's children followed him into the brewing business and on his death the brewery fell out of family ownership.

Penal Laws were revoked in the late 1700s and it was only in 1827 that Edmund Smithwick, John's grandson, bought the brewery back, was he able to hang the Smithwick name above the brewey door. Nine generations of Smithwicks have been involved in the business since then.

Image © Copyright Humphrey Bolton and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons.

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