Connemara Smokehouse, Visitor Centre & Factory Shop

Good Food Ireland® Approved Since 2006

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Overview

Owned and operated by the Roberts Family since 1979, Connemara Smokehouse is the oldest smokehouse in Connemara and one of the oldest in western Ireland. Wild salmon is caught locally, is organic and comes from Clare Island, off the west coast of Mayo. They also specialise in Irish smoked tuna and gravadlax.

Meet The Maker

In 1979, when he was just four years old, Graham Roberts’ parents John and Bridget opened the Connemara Smokehouse. Connemara Smokehouse, Visitor Centre & Factory Shop specialises in high-quality smoked and marinated seafood, with tours and tastings available at the factory. Today, Graham and his wife Saoirse run the business together, and with four children, they can rest assured that the Smokehouse will continue into the next generation.

You’ll find the Connemara Smokehouse right on the water’s edge at Bunowen Pier, in the heart of Connemara between Roundstone and Clifden. 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.

The first step in the smoking process is filleting. Owner Graham does all the filleting by hand. 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. Beechwood is used for the smoking process and the smoke is fanned through the kiln for about 8 to 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 in an hour! Connemara Smokehouse produces several delicious products, including roast smoked salmon. The fish is slowly smoked using a hot fire to give a cooked salmon texture. Hot smoked salmon is also available with honey roast flavour from a home marinade.

Gravadlax is also produced here, made in a unique way with fresh salmon marinated with sugar, salt, dill and Irish whiskey. Connemara Smokehouse Wild Tuna is caught by the line-fishing method and is lightly cured and smoked or marinated in honey. Many of these products have won awards over the years, and you’ll see why on the first taste.


Other Facilities

Connemara Smokehouse features an exciting visitor experience. Learn about the fascinating process behind smoking this range of delicious food items and you can also buy the product range to enjoy at home from the factory shop located on site.

As well as browsing the factory shop, you can also take tours (in English and French) of the Smokehouse – just turn up any Wednesday at 3pm during the summer months. You can watch Graham through all the processes of filleting to the finished product and enjoy a sample. He 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.

Visitors are welcome all year-round to come in for a chat and purchase any of the artisanal products. Group Tours are by appointment only and booking is advisable for general tours. Products are available online or at the Smokehouse store itself.


Sustainability

Connemara Smokehouse produces fantastic sustainable smoked fish, using seasonal and organic production methods. All of the fish smoked here, from local wild salmon to organic salmon from Clare Island and wild tuna caught by the line-fishing method.


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