Dublin · Ireland

Dublin Craft Beer Pubs – An Outsider’s View

I’d not been out pubbing in Dublin for a quite a while.  So for my birthday Mrs W and I decided (well, I decided, really) to spend a couple of days down south seeing what it has to offer in terms of quality establishments that serve more than just Guinness and Carlsberg.  This is by no means an exhaustive compilation of good craft bars, it’s a solely a list of where we went – many thanks to Wayne (IrishBeerSnob.com) for the assistance.   If you do happen to be looking for good pubs in the city, you should download the Beoir Pubfinder mobile app.

Arriving into Connolly Station after being on a train for two hours more than prepares you for pub lunch and first stop was The Brewdock, right across the road from the station. 
1 Amiens Street, Dublin 1
www.galwaybaybrewery.com/brewdock

There’s an air of excited anticipation when you enter a bar like this, with its many pumps (2 cask) and array of Galway Bay brews.  I’d heard nothing but good things about the 2014 Beoir winner Of Foam and Fury so dived head first into that along with a hearty bowl of coddle. A couple of other Galway brews followed including the simply awesome chocolate stout Buried at Sea but this is a pub review not a beer review, so I’ll have to move on.  Lovely little pub, great beer selection and friendly staff.

Galway Bay pumps at The Brewdock


Ten minutes walk to the bottom of O’Connell St and across the River Liffey stands JW Sweetman.
1-2 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2
www.jwsweetman.ie
The only pub in Dublin with its own onsite microbrewery, at least 5 beers are produced here. Also known for beer cocktails and good hearty carvery lunches.  The staff are very chatty, knowledgeable and personable.  While here I tried the JW Sorachi Zuki, a dark brown ale that was surprisingly sharp and bitter.

Next up was Farrington’s (now re-named the Norseman) pub set in the heart of the city’s famous and sometimes rather expensive Temple Bar district.
28 Eustace Street, Dublin 2
www.thesmithgroup.ie/farringtons
Many, many competitively priced beers available here from all over Ireland, including Kinsale’s 9% Double IPA – Beoir #1.  A bit like Of Foam and Fury, very tasty but don’t have too many or you may forget your name.  This pub has an excellent beer range with very friendly and informative staff.

Farrington’s, Temple Bar

A two minute walk down the cobbled Essex Street and you arrive at the oldest craft beer bar in the city, the well known Porterhouse.  
16-18 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
www.porterhousebrewco.com/bars-dublin-temple.php
A good selection of their own brews – they no longer brew on site due to demand – as well as many local and world bottled ales are on offer.  Take a look at their beer menu, it’s … comprehensive.  

From there head across the River Liffey and up Capel Street to another Galway Bay owned establishment, The Black Sheep.
61 Capel St, Dublin 1
www.galwaybaybrewery.com/blacksheep
Airy and spacious with sunlight streaming in during the afternoon (if you’re lucky), this is where I first tried Trouble Brewing’s Graffiti (Co. Kildare) as well as a bottle of Kinnegar’s Long Tongue (Co. Donegal).  I have to admit the Long Tongue was one of my favourites of the Dublin stay, a well rounded rye ale with a very, very tasty addition of pumpkin and ginger.

Two minutes walk up the vibrant Capel Street is The Beerhouse.
84 Capel Street, Dublin 1
www.beerhousedublin.com
A cosy little pub with a small bar in the corner near the door.  The quirky chairs and lights resemble items that used to be in my granny’s front room and the old board games are to be welcomed.  Quite a few pumps despite the bar size.  I opted for another newbie to me, White Gypsy’s Blond Weiss beer (Co. Tipperary).  This was another favourite of the day – vibrant, zingy and refreshing. Very sessionable on a warm sunny day.

While you’re in that area of Dublin, take a trip to the renowned L Mulligan Grocer.
18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7
www.lmulligangrocer.com
On a recommendation, Mrs W and I took a taxi there for lunch on the Thursday but were surprised to find the place closed and not open Mon-Thu until 4pm. Fri-Sun open 12.30pm – just so you know!
After our frustration had subsided and we’d had a few drinks in the aforementioned Porterhouse, Black Sheep and Beerhouse, we returned to happily find it open for tea.  A vast selection of bottled and draught international and local craft beers are available – I opted for Dogfish’s My Antonia (Delaware, USA) and Camden Town’s Gentleman’s Wit (London).  However what really stands out here is the food.  It’s delicious and well worth making the trip out to the Stoneybatter area. You could do a lot worse in the city.

The Bull and Castle is situated on the corner of the road opposite Christchurch Cathedral.
5-7 Lord Edward Street, Dublin 7
bull-and-castle.fxbuckley.ie
I have to be honest here and confess both Mrs W and I were not enamoured with this place but I feel the need to add criticisms as well as praise in this blog review.  From the moment we walked in we were greeted by a manager/head waiter who looked as if he wanted to rip our heads off.  He then showed us to a table near the door and when I asked if we could sit further up closer to the bar (as there were lots of empty tables) we were flatly refused as apparenly they are for food diners only.  Again in a tone that suggested the only eating done would be him … eating us alive.  I had a half pint and left.

The final bar of our stay was 57 The Headline.  It was recommended to us by Shane, a friendly barman at The Norseman.
118 South Circular Road, Crumlin, Dublin
www.facebook.com/57theheadline
Although The Headline Bar is this list’s furthest out of town pub (5 min taxi), it was a welcoming place with great pies and a good selection of Irish beer.  It opens from 3pm and has a few trial beer specials.  One of these was one of my favourites, Franciscan Well’s fruity and spicy Saison Spring Ale. That, combined with chicken pie and pickled gherkins, made for a very palatable late lunch.

The Headline Bar

So there you have it, a list of all the pubs we visited on our stay in Dublin.  Plenty more bars are available of course but that’s a snapshot.  Hopefully it’ll not be long until I’m back savouring the city’s delights.  Sláinte!

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6 thoughts on “Dublin Craft Beer Pubs – An Outsider’s View

  1. We went in through the main door and attempted to walk up the stairs to the bar. This was refused and we were shown a table by the window at the door. I said we only wanted a drink and was told only diners allowed upstairs.

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  2. Oh wait, was this before 5pm? The Beer Hall (or “Butcher's Bar” as it's now called) only opens in the evening. Daytime drinking can be a bit of a specialised requirement for the beer geek in Dublin.

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  3. Hmmm good question and difficult to remember an answer to that. They were roughly the same though I think prob The Beerhouse and Porterhouse edged it. Cant remember specific prices though.

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