Insiders Experience

Ireland 2020

March 12th -20th

Independent Ireland has partnered with The Maine Brew Bus to put together a most incredible beercation experience – a week in the cities and countryside of Ireland during the week surrounding St. Patrick’s Day!

Join us in March of 2020 as we discover all we can take in about this very magical place. And as a special bonus, we will be in the country for St. Patrick’s Day – the most Irish of all of the days in the year.

Our tour group will be led by Ireland’s native son, Evan McElligott, and is designed to bring us to both well-known locales and out-of-the-way villages to live as the Irish do—at least for the week.

Along the way we will discover that there is much more to drink in this land than dry Irish stouts and delicious whiskeys. The country is producing some amazing food and drink, and we will explore many different angles of this transformation.  We will take you beyond the ordinary and into the mystic. Not to just visit Ireland, but to dive in head first. We will immerse ourselves in its culture, history, music, its food and beverage scene, but most importantly its people. This group trip will combine the stunning landscape in Ireland with it’s emerging craft beer industry. And in true Brew Bus fashion, we will meet and hear from the people behind it.    Flight arrangements are on your own, but all flights from the USA to Ireland depart in the evening, so plan to fly overnight and and arrive in Dublin early the following day.

Detailed Itinerary:

(Click on date to open in-depth day- to-day details)

No matter where you leave from, flights from the USA to Ireland depart in the late afternoon / late evening. The first day is a busy one, so try to get some rest on this overnight flight, leaving your fresh and ready for the day ahead.

We will all gather in Dublin, either at the airport or at a city pickup for those who have made their way to Ireland early. We then leave the hustle and bustle of the city to travel across the Ancient East into the Northwest part of the country.

The midlands are often overlooked and under-appreciated and it’s truly a spectacular part of the country—a treasure trove of spectacular sights, quaint villages and towns, and amazing breweries.

We will be partnering up with some great breweries, and one of the first will be with the guys over at The White Hag Brewing Company who will be welcoming us with open arms and full glasses of beer. We will learn about their company story, from the launch in August 2014 to where they are today. And the beers we will enjoy may seem more familiar than you expect, as their Ohio-born head brewer favors big and bold flavors made in an American style made using Irish ingredients wherever possible.

Accommodation; Killeshin Hotel, Portloaise.

We will spend the morning in the Strandhill area, and take a guided walk with a local archeologist that will explain the absolutely fascinating history of the area before continuing on along the Wild Atlantic Way towards Westport, one of Ireland’s most charming towns.

This area is truly stunning and we plan on sharing some very special experiences with you

Accommodation: Absolute Hotel Limerick

This morning we will visit Mescan Brewery to learn why a veterinarian would close his practice to open a Belgian-style brewery on the slopes of Croagh Patrick. Mescan is a working brewery on a working farm, we will see (and taste) that much of their vet and farming equipment has effectively been upcycled to brew small batches of Belgian beers that range from effervescent blonde beers to heady stouts.

This is the true hidden Ireland. We will spend time exploring a very special place that only a few know about (so we can’t name it here) but it will blow your mind. We will also take a walk with an amazing character that tells a great story.

We will even enjoy an Irish Coffee in an old cottage that dates back to pre-famine times before returning to Westport for the evening.


We wake up in Ireland on March 17th. To many, this day is a day of green costumes, green beer and green everything in-between. But we will truly understand the spirit of the day be being immersed in Irish culture. 

We will start the day off by taking part in a very early morning tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Trust us, you will enjoy this one very much.  Later in the morning we will make our way through some of Ireland’s charming small towns and villages as we explore the country on a day like no other. We will dive into the real stories and traditions around the country. We have a few other surprises in store to fully immerse ourselves in an experience like no other. And we arrive into the City of Cork just as it all starts coming to a crescendo of merriment for the St. Patrick’s Day festival. This day is packed solid with parades. street entertainment, music, food, pubs… If there was ever a day to be in Ireland, it’s today.

Accommodation: Ambassador Hotel, Cork


It just so happens that Galway is the European Capital of Culture in 2020, so be prepared for a party unlike any that you’ve experienced before.

Galway takes their arts and culture scene very seriously, and this will be a combination of Saint Patrick’s Day and a Mardi Gras celebration! All in a city that is known to throw the best party in the country.

2020 marks the 117th anniversary of the Galway St. Patrick’s Day Parade and you can expect a wonderful spectacle of all things Irish. The iconic fountain in Eyre Square will even turn green as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

If there was ever a time to be in Ireland for Patrick’s Day, this is it.

While we will be there to offer guidance and support, we want each of you to experience this special day in your own way. So the entire day is yours to do whatever you wish.

Accommodation: A

No doubt your head is still spinning after the cultural event of the decade, and you’re feeling pretty fortunate to have been part of the festivities, but today the show goes on. We begin our journey back in time and travel towards the midlands, where we will visit the monastic site of Clonmacnoise which has a big secret that relates to Whiskey. We will follow that with a Whiskey Walking tour in Athlone, that will also be paired with local chocolate to really dive into one of the most beautiful pairings ever created—whiskey and dark chocolate.
The group will spend the evening in the region and we will enjoy time at the Oldest Pub in Ireland (that soon will be announced as verified to be the Oldest Pub in The World!).

A day to remember!


This morning we make our way to Dublin, taking a direct route that allows you to spend as much time as possible exploring Dublin.

This is a city that it helps to have a little (or a lot) of insider knowledge in. We will give a brief city tour and then let you roam free.

Dublin has too much to offer to try and steer a group through. From Trinity College and the Book of Kells, to Guinness or Jameson, or one of the newer Distilleries, to Museums, Galleries or countless attractions. The choices are endless and that’s before we even start talking beer!

Here are some top attractions to experience:


Our exclusive St Patrick’s Day experience has come to an end. But with afternoon or early evening flight departures, you might still have a few hours to explore more of Dublin.

Transport will be provided to the airport with plenty of time to take care of departure.

$1499 (Per Person Sharing)

With such limited capacity this trip will sell out fast. If you have any questions, don’t be shy!
Inclusions / :
  • Accommodation, based on twin/Double sharing.
  • Transport with driver/ Guide and Hosts
  • Daily full Irish Breakfast, and one evening meal. You will have free time in the evenings to explore at your own pace (suggestions and support will be given before hand)
  • Admission Fees included:
  • Craft beer Ireland 101 Hosted at CANVAS, along with Making a private batch.
  • Admission and tastings at CANVAS, Blacks of Kinsale, West Kerry Brewery, Dingle and Jameson Distillery and of course Guinness.
  • Cliffs Of Moher from below!
  • Slea head tour.
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Explore St Patrick’s day with the locals.
  • City tours – Dublin, Limerick and Cork
  • Dingle Pub Crawl – Find your favorite.
Excluded: Flights – so many way to come at this. Many are selecting to come in a few days earlier, some staying later. Some greta deals to be found though! So we’ve decided to leave this out. Evening Meals – So much to choose from, and we’re gonna help you decide, but this is your chance to find amazing food in one of the most under-appreciated culinary destination in the world. Pints: It probably goes without saying… But  no alcohol beyond tastings is included. Budget accordingly 😉  

Days Till Departure