Life

Beer: Porterhouse’s Celebration Stout worth every penny

Paul McConville

Paul McConville

Paul is the Irish News sports editor. He has worked for the newspaper since 2003 as a sub-editor and sports reporter. He also writes a weekly column on craft beer.

Celebration Stout pours jet black with a slightly tan head and is crammed full of sweet chocolate flavours
Celebration Stout pours jet black with a slightly tan head and is crammed full of sweet chocolate flavours

EVERY so often, a photograph of a receipt from a city centre pub in Dublin – it’s usually Temple Bar, to be fair – will pop up on social media with the poster inviting outrage for the fact that they have had to take out a small mortgage to buy a pint of fizzy, flavourless mass-produced lager and a spirit plus mixer (the €3 mixer is always the piece de resistance).

Drinking in Ireland’s capital can be an expensive business but there is an omerta of sorts at play here. Drinkers in Dublin’s tourist trap take the hit of a few extra Euro on their pint as a kind of 'craic tax' and bar owners know they can charge it because you’re having such a great time dandering around the cobbled lanes and taking in the street performers.

The thing is, though, that parting with your well-earned cash for something you could get in your local for almost half the price seems a bit counter-intuitive. I prefer to follow the ‘when in Rome’ way of thinking and it was this philosophy which took me to the Porterhouse in a recent trip to Dublin.

Way before IPAs and imperial stouts were de rigueur among the discerning drinkers of Ireland, the Porterhouse was something of a solace for those who wanted something a bit different in their pint glass.

At a time when there were very few craft brewers in Ireland, brewing beer and selling it in your own pub seemed ambitious to say the least. However, the Porterhouse has been doing that with great success for 30 years and has now managed to expand to London and New York.

The more recent craft beer movement in Ireland has dovetailed nicely with Porterhouse’s expansion, and their original pub in Temple Bar features a great array of ales, stouts and lagers.

No trip to Dublin is complete without a pint of the black stuff, and so I plumped for pint of Porterhouse’s Celebration Stout. This is billed as an imperial stout, although at 6.5 per cent, it’s probably at the conservative end of that description.

It pours jet black with a slightly tan head and is crammed full of sweet chocolate flavours. It has the smoothness of a milk stout, but has sharp roasted malt flavours too and a hint of bitterness. It’s a beautifully rounded stout and worth every penny.