Those that reside and work in Dublin’s fair city take it for granted and work on the assumption that people know what we’re talking about when say “Go to X pub and Y Pub”.
Lets face it, the Craft Beer movement in Ireland is small, a vibrant and growing market, but small scale compared to the macro movement, and also the craft market in the states. The crucial thing is it’s improving all the time.
Out of the blue last week I got an email from James in Houston, Texas who is travelling to Europe at the end of March and has a 2 day layover in Ireland on their way to the Czech Republic. James asked me for some suggestions of where they should go on their stay.
First things first, this list is not in any order of preference, just places I recommended as I think they are great in their own right.
The Brew Dock, Amiens St, Dublin 1 (http://www.galwaybaybrewery.com/brewdock/)
Ok, this place has been a staple for me ever since they opened in 2012. Couple of reasons for that, 1, it has a great range of beer, but 2, it is right next to where I get my bus home! But the main reason I hold this place in such high regard is that the staff are super, the range to go in both bottle and draft. But also two cask ale engines. Match this with good food you’ve got a winner, and a very good representation of the growing Irish Craft beer scene.
JW Sweetman, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 (http://www.jwsweetman.ie/index.html)
Dublin’s only brewpub. But they also do good views of the liffey, and serve good food with their beers. They also pour from the mainstream brands, so if you’re keen on the craft beer, but are with people who aren’t, you can keep everyone happy here. The staff are very enthusiastic and they run tours of their brewery which is literaly in the Cellar!
Against the Grain, Wexford St, Dublin 2 (http://www.galwaybaybrewery.com/againstthegrain/)
The original Craft beer bar, based just off St Stephen’s Green this is a sister bar of the Brew Dock, but has also the same great staff, good food and fantastic bottle and draught menu.
The Butcher’s Bar formerly The Bull and Castle, Lord Edward St, Dublin 2 (http://bull-and-castle.fxbuckley.ie/the-butchers-bar)
Opposite Christchurch Cathedral, this FX Buckley owned establishment, specifically the beer hall upstairs,is the perfect place to have a nice bite, and some great beers. A good pitstop on the way back into town if you have done the Storehouse tour.
57 The Headline, 56/57 Clanbrassil St, Dublin 8 (https://www.facebook.com/57theheadline)
A newer addition to the Dublin Craft Beer scene, this bar is located a little outside the centre, but well worth the trip out. Craft Beer, Fine Whiskeys, pies, charcuterie and cheese. What is not to love. Also now with a restaurant upstairs with great food paired with beers.
L Mulligan Grocer, Manot St, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 (http://www.lmulligangrocer.com/)
La piece de la resistance in terms of Gastro Pubs in Dublin, definitely a bit off the beaten path, but it is only a stones throw from Smithfield. They are renowned for their food, and great list of beers and whiskeys. They’ve even featured in the New York Times. If you are in the area it is definitely worth checking out, and it’s across the road from Drinkstore, one of the best independent off licenses in the country.
Now, as we all know, everyone comes to Temple Bar when they visit Dublin, believe me, there is more to this part of Dublin than rampaging stag parties and excessively expensive pints. You just have to know where to look.
Two gems in this fantastic area would be
Porterhouse Temple Bar, 16/18 Parliament St, Dublin 2 (http://www.porterhousebrewco.com/bars-dublin-temple.php)
The longest established craft beer pub in Dublin, they used to brew on site, but due to growth and demand they’ve moved to bigger things out in West Dublin. The pub remains, and they offer all the porterhouse regular beers, with good food, and a beer menu that is more reminiscent of a phone book. Live music most evenings, and has Zaytoon across the road for post drink munchies.
The Norseman formerly Farringtons Essex St, Dublin 2 (www.norseman.ie)
It is ironic that this place is directly across from Fitzsimons, a place where punters regularly pay in excess of €6 a pint. A pub with a great range of whiskeys, craft beer, and whats more all next to the mainstream stuff like Guinness et al. Live music and food also round it out as a great place to stop to take a load off. Manned by friendly staff, this place continues to surprise me. Note that recently there’s been a change and now only craft beer is O’Haras and Franciscan Well – which is still better than the guinness et al
Cassidy’s, Westmoreland St, Dublin 2 (http://www.yelp.ie/biz/cassidys-dublin-2)
Not quite Temple Bar, but not far away from this area is the eclectic Cassidy’s Bar (also sister pubs in the city,PMac’s up on Andrew St, and Blackbird in Rathmines) here we have a bar that has a mix of Macro & Micro brews, some great beers, and they even have their own beer, Vietnow, brewed for them by Trouble Brewing. Loads of crazy stuff on the walls, board games, and random furniture. This is a good boozer, with a great soundtrack to your evening.
The Beer Market, High St, Christchurch, Dublin 8 (http://www.galwaybaybrewery.com/beermarket/)
A new venture from those pioneers in Galway Bay Brewery – this place is only about beer. Rare beers, stuff you wouldn’t normally get, for instance they’d a keg of Brewdog Born to Die, the only one in Ireland. A large tap list of ever changing beers, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Check their twitter feed for whats on tap. If you get peckish there are some great pies on offer from the Pie Man!
So if you find you are going to visit our fine capital, these places are highly recommended.
Finally, you should download the Beoirfinder app, available both in Itunes, and Google Play store. This is a free app where members of Beoir populate the database with pubs that serve Irish Craft Beer. The app is free and works on Geo Location. Chances are if a pub has Irish Craft, they will have foreign stuff too.
Thanks for reading and hopefully we’ll be welcoming you sometime soon.
Updated June 2015