Smithwick’s is THE Irish Red Ale. Our "recent” 300 year history commenced with John Smithwick producing his first brews in 1710, thus establishing Smithwick’s legacy as “Ireland’s longest established brewer” and the “oldest working brewery in Ireland.”
The craft of brewing in Ireland has a long and rich history, stretching back before written records, indeed before the Celts…
The first Irish beers were probably brewed in a Fulacht Fiadh: These prehistoric sites of crescent shaped mounds with a lined cavity in the centre are common in Ireland, it is estimated that there are 4,000 historic Fulacht Fiadh sites in Ireland today. Some date from the Neolithic period, circa 3,000 BC, whilst others were in use up until the middle ages. Recent studies have concluded that brewing was very likely their main purpose, though they were also used for cooking.
(Ref: "The Great Beer experiment" by Moore Group)
Barley, the principal brewing grain since Egyptian times, was grown in Ireland during Neolithic times too, as indicated by evidence on period pottery. An early written record in the Seanchas Mór (5th Century AD) shows that at least some barley was being grown solely for brewing purposes.