Kilkenny (beer)

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Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
Kilkenny Irish beer.JPG
Kilkenny Irish beer
ManufacturerSt. Francis Abbey
Introduced1710 (as Smithwick's[1])
Alcohol by volume4.3%
StyleIrish Red Ale
IBU scale29 Edit this on Wikidata

Kilkenny is a nitrogenated Irish cream ale from the makers of Guinness, which originated in Kilkenny, Ireland. The brand is managed and produced by Diageo. It is available in draught, bottles and cans. It is brewed in Ireland. Kilkenny is similar to Smithwick's Draught; however, it has less hop finish, and it has a nitrogenated cream head similar to Guinness. The 'Kilkenny' name was originally used during the 1980s and 1990s to market a stronger version of Smithwick's for the European and Canadian markets due to difficulty in pronunciation of the word 'Smithwick's'. It now refers to a similar yet distinct beer.

Kilkenny was brewed in St. Francis Abbey Brewery in Kilkenny, which was the oldest operating brewery in Ireland until its closure in 2013. It is now brewed at St. James's Gate brewery, Dublin.[2] It is served in similar manner to Guinness; fully risen with a head of ¾ to 1" approx. The ingredients are water, malted barley, roasted malted barley, hops, and yeast.[3]

While Ireland is the primary market for Kilkenny, Australia and Canada are the two largest importers of Kilkenny.[2]

Availability in Australia and New Zealand[edit]

Kilkenny is available on tap in many Australian and New Zealand bars and pubs, where it is served, as with locally brewed draught Guinness, on a mixture of 70% nitrogen and 30% carbon dioxide through a special tap to render a creamy head. It is available in 440ml cans from some bottle stores.[citation needed]

Widespread popularity in Canada[edit]

Kilkenny has become a favourite of Canadians, especially in Montreal's Irish pubs, and the LCBO has also seen a huge increase in sales since July 2013. Kilkenny grew in popularity after high-profile Canadian stars were seen drinking it around the city - Mike Myers, Drake and Robert Gates have all been photographed with a Kilkenny in hand, likely contributing to its recent spike in popularity.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Brewing in Kilkenny – Diageo Ireland
  2. ^ a b "Brand explorer". Diageo.
  3. ^ "RateBeer".