Well-known domestically and amongst beer enthusiasts all over the world, the brewery at Saint Francis Abbey in Kilkenny is actually older than its famous Irish peer: Dublin's St. James's Gate (home of Guinness). Founded by John Smithwick in 1710, the brewery was made on the site of its namesake abbey, where monks had already been brewing beer as early as the 1300s.
The ruins of the original abbey can still be seen on the grounds of the modern-day brewery. Now named after its founder, Smithwick's beer is known for its trademark red ale, though several other varieties have been added to its line-up recently. In celebration of its 300th birthday, the brewery started offering tours of its facilities.