Connemara Smokehouse and Visitor Centre

Home / Place / Connemara Smokehouse & Visitor Centre / Connemara Smokehouse and Visitor Centre

Tabs

Bunowen Pier
Connemara Smokehouse & Visitor Centre
BallyconneelyGalway
Ireland

Overview

Situated on the water's edge at Bunowen Pier, in the heart of Connemara and between Roundstone and Clifden, the Connemara Smokehouse has an enviable position, with exceptional views of the Twelve Bens mountain range and the castle of Connaught's historic Pirate Queen, Grainne Mhoal. You drive around the small, curved, golden-sand beach - the Smokehouse is at the far end of the bay. It's the longest established smokehouse in the area and one of the few remaining specialising in wild smoked salmon. Wild salmon is caught locally; organic comes from Clare Island, off the west coast of Mayo. They also specialise in Irish smoked tuna and gravadlax.

In 1979, when he was just four years old, Graham Roberts' parents John and Bridget opened the Connemara Smokehouse. Graham's childhood memories involve following his father round as he went about the daily business - as well as playing on the rocks below. When he was 16, he became actively involved and followed this with a course in the Fisheries College in Greencastle. Today Graham and his wife Saoirse run the business together. And with four young children, they can rest assured that the Smokehouse will continue into the next generation.

The first step in the smoking process is the filleting. Unbelievably, Graham does all the filleting by hand, that's about 40 to 50 fish per hour. The bones are removed and the fish is washed to remove any loose bones. Refrigerated for an hour or so to allow the water to drain off, it's then ready for salting and smoking. Beech is used for the smoking process and the smoke is fanned through the kiln for about 8-10 hours. The length of the smoking process depends on various factors, including the weather and Graham decides when it's ready! It's then left in the cold room for 24 hours before slicing.

Some of the fish is sliced by hand and some by machine - but with Graham slicing, it's impossible to tell the difference. He can slice between 25 and 30 sides every hour. Products include roast smoked salmon when the fish is slowly smoked using a hot fire to give a cooked salmon texture; honey roast smoked salmon where the salmon is marinated in honey before smoking; gravadlax, salmon that's marinated with sugar, salt, dill and Irish whiskey. Wild tuna is caught by the line-fishing method and is lightly cured and smoked or marinated in honey.

Tours of the Smokehouse are available and take about 1 hour. You can watch Graham through all the processes of filleting to the finished product and enjoy a sample. Graham (in English) or Nicholas (in French) will show the filleting of salmon explain the salting and smoking techniques, then he will show the hand-slicing and packing of the smoked salmon the finished product. You will also enjoy a tasting of our fantastic Smoked Salmon. We are sure you will then want to buy some to take home, eat some while you are here on holiday, or send to friends and family as a gift. It's educational, fun and delicious.

Visitors are welcome all year round to come in for a chat and purchase any of our products. Group Tours by appointment only and booking is advisable for general tours.  Products are also available online.  

OPENING HOURS:
Open All Year Round
Open Monday-Friday
09.00 to 13.00 - 14.00 to 17.00

SEASONAL CLOSURES:
Closed between 13.00 -14.00 Monday to Friday
Closed Saturday & Sunday's
Closed Bank Holiday's

  • artisan_foods

    A number of years ago, West Cork was lucky enough to be hit by the powerhouse that is Ruth Healy.

    Bandon, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | Fishy Fishy Shop & Chippie
    artisan_foods

    Martin and Marie Shanahan are seafood heroes,  and their famous daytime restaurant in this pretty harbour town  was f

    Kinsale, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | On The Pigs Back Douglas
    artisan_foods

    On The Pig’s Back has been an essential ingredient of the English Market for years.  The place would be lost without

    Douglas, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | Farmgate Midleton
    artisan_foods

    If there’s one thing Farmgate’s owner Máróg O’Brien possesses in abundance, it’s a passion for great food.

    Midleton, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | Tom Durcan Meats
    artisan_foods

    Tom Durcan, craft butcher of over twenty five years experience, is a master of spiced beef. It has won him many honours. This fine Cork speciality is the underlining product at his butcher’s stall in the English market. Tom’s career began as a youngster, when he took a summer job in a butcher’s shop during school holidays. The experience proved invaluable. Working with an experienced butcher with his own slaughter house provided what Tom describes as a ‘fantastic education’ for the young novice in how to source animals, and the ground rules for good butchery.

    Cork, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | Springfort Hall Shop & Cafe
    artisan_foods

    The brightly painted Springfort Hall shop front on the main street in Mallow is eye-catching and attractive.

    Mallow, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Artisan | Toons Bridge Dairy Food Shop
    artisan_foods

    Toon’s Bridge Dairy has become famous for it’s cheeses, made from milk supplied by local cow's and sheep's milk farme

    Macroom, Cork
  • artisan_foods

    Shannen Keane’s Diva Cafe and Coffee House in Ballinspittle is joined by Diva Deli and Bakery just across the road.

    Cork
  • Affordable Relaxation at Jim Edwards
    place_to_stay

    You might just decide to make a night of it once you get to Jim Edward's, Dinner and room packages here can't be beaten!

    Kinsale, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Producers | Ummera Smoked Products
    food_producers

    Anthony Creswell's award winning Ummera Smokehouse situated in peaceful, rural West Cork, by the banks of the Argidee

    Timoleague, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Producer | Ryans Arbutus Bread
    food_producers

    Declan Ryan was well known some years ago as a chef/restaurateur.

    Cork, Cork
  • food_producers

    West Cork has long been a trailblazing region for new artisan food production. Toons Bridge Dairy takes it's name from the nearby bridge over the River Toon, in a small and picturesque hamlet in the Macroom countryside in West Cork.

    Cork
  • food_producers

    Skeaghanore duck meat is reared using natural farming methods which result in tender, tasty and succulent meat.

    Ballydehob, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Pubs and Bars | Cronin's Pub
    place_to_eat

    Lots of seafood to be enjoyed outside in summer, and in winter, doorstep sandwiches and comforting hot soups and stews.

    Crosshaven, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Pubs and Bars | Jim Edwards - Bar
    place_to_eat

    One of the original bars of a town which has the sea at its heart with a casual dining menu served every day.

    Kinsale, Cork
  • Good Food Ireland | Pubs and Bars | The Crookhaven Inn
    place_to_eat

    Crookhaven in West Cork lies just off the Mizen Head Drive. Wild terrain. Mountains and ocean mix magnificently.

    Mizen Peninsula, Cork