Food & Drink

Craft Beer: It's fair to say Dublin is the city for the discerning beer tourist

Colourforms is a 5.2 per cent New England style Pale from Kildare-based Outer Place Brewing.
Colourforms is a 5.2 per cent New England style Pale from Kildare-based Outer Place Brewing. Colourforms is a 5.2 per cent New England style Pale from Kildare-based Outer Place Brewing.

On a recent visit to Dublin, I overheard some American visitors weighing up a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. They were jet-lagged, on a three-day whistlestop tour and had gone hard at it on their first evening/afternoon/indeterminable time of the day when they arrived (for the record, this all came out in a subsequent conversation, rather than the preceding eavesdropping).

For what it’s worth, I’d highly recommend a visit to the Storehouse. It’s informative, fun and ends with the finest pint of Guinness you’ll get, accompanied by 360-degree views of Dublin.

However, for the more discerning beer drinker, Dublin is teeming with venues which showcase the best of Irish craft beer and celebrate the best of those from abroad.

Of course choice is a luxury of a relatively large population and there appears to still be a healthy appetite for draught craft beer.

Read more:

  • Craft beer: Brewers getting in on the Margarita mix
  • Craft Beer: Sampling the best beers Galway has to offer

Getting good craft beer on tap is a luxury I rarely get to enjoy, so I was going to make the most of my own sweep through the capital, and one of the first ports of call was Tapped Late Bar on Nassau Street, sandwiched in between Trinity College and the end of Grafton Street.

For a relatively central location, it has a dazzling array of craft beers on tap and I was pleased to discover a couple that were new to me.

First up was Colourforms, a 5.2 per cent New England style Pale from Kildare-based Outer Place Brewing.

This one promised haze and duly delivered, along with some punchy tropical flavours and a moreish dankness.

This was followed by an 8 per cent DIPA from Barcelona-based Oddity Brewing called Safe Distance. The strength dictated it was served in a 2/3 pint serving, but that was enough to enjoy to delicious peach and mango flavours, with a hint of melon, all wrapped up in a soft, pillowy mouthfeel.

Galway Bay have been putting their money where their mouth is for the best part of decade now in that they not only make great beer, they serve it to a thirsty public.

With pubs in their native county and in Dublin, you’ve always a decent chance of happening upon a fine selection.

Sacrificial Oats is 6.2 per cent New Zealand IPA from Galway Bay
Sacrificial Oats is 6.2 per cent New Zealand IPA from Galway Bay Sacrificial Oats is 6.2 per cent New Zealand IPA from Galway Bay

On this occasion, it was in Bar Rua on Dublin’s Clarendon Street, just across the street from the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre (not that I’m advocating it as a haven for those agnostic about the appeal of shopping).

I was informed by the lad behind the bar that ‘this is all craft beer’, to which my quick retort was ‘Yeah, that’s why I’m here.’

On further reflection, the two bags of cans weighing me down following a raid of Stephen’s Street News – a craft beer Mecca just around the corner – should have been a dead giveaway.

The beer of choice here was Galway Bay’s own Sacrificial Oats, a New Zealand IPA, clocking in at 6.2 per cent, bursting with sharp and zesty flavours thanks to the antipodean hops and sporting a smooth, hazy look.

Fleetwood Black is a 4.5 nitro stout which is a collaboration between Two Sides and Third Barrell Brewing
Fleetwood Black is a 4.5 nitro stout which is a collaboration between Two Sides and Third Barrell Brewing Fleetwood Black is a 4.5 nitro stout which is a collaboration between Two Sides and Third Barrell Brewing

Slightly off the beaten track is 57 The Headline, which required something of a pilgrimage, but was enjoyable alone for the nitro stout Fleetwood Black, a collaboration between Two Sides and Third Barrel Brewing.

Smooth, chocolatey and with a little roasty nip, a pint of black stuff was the perfect way to round off a beer odyssey of Dublin.