From the high morals and integrity of Mr Sullivan in the 1700s, to the reckless and rebellious Master Sullivan in the early 1900s, this brewery has a tale or two to tell.


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Sullivan’s Brewing Company opened for business over three hundred years ago in The Maltings on James’s Street, smack bang in the middle of Kilkenny City.

Up until the early 1700s, brewing on a large scale was a rarity, this resulted in many small breweries springing up all around the country, with little or no consistency in the beer that was being produced. Back then, to guarantee that each pint was as good as the last, required brewing on a bigger, more exacting scale.

Enter Mr. Sullivan, a man of high morals, integrity and a good nose for great beer. Through his belief and hard work he established a brewery the likes of which had never been seen in Kilkenny. He only used the very best local ingredients and the very best brewing methods to ensure that every barrel of Sullivan’s Red Ale that left his brewery was as good as the one that had gone before.

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Richard Sullivan was elected to represent the people of Kilkenny in the 1820s. This supposedly put one well-known Irish political figure’s nose well and truly out of joint – Daniel O’Connell.

After one particularly heated parliamentary quarrel, O’Connell even called a boycott of Sullivan’s Ale by the people of Kilkenny. But you’ll know if you’ve ever had a pint of Sullivan’s Red Ale in front of you that it can be very hard to resist, and the boycott was soon called off.

Despite this rocky start, Richard and Daniel went on to become firm friends. So good in fact, that when O’Connell was stripped of his seat in Parliament due to some underhand dealings, Sullivan was one of the few who had his back. He wrote to Daniel and offered him his seat to ensure that O’Connell’s Catholic Emancipation Act would get through Parliament.



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