There’s no place like Dublin for sampling a few traditional brews, so why not hop on the ferry to Dublin and try a few for yourself? Here are three of my favourite places to enjoy the craic.
The Guinness Storehouse
Even if you’re not a big fan of the black stuff this remarkable museum to Ireland’s most famous brew is well worth a visit. One of the old brewery buildings has been turned into an interactive homage to stout. You’re taken on a journey of discovery from the ground floor up, seeing how the beer is made and learning too about the way the Guinness brand has been marketed over the years. It’s genuinely fascinating. Of course you can hardly visit a Guinness brewery without sampling the seductive brew. For those over 18 there’s a pint included in the price of your ticket which you quaff on the top floor of the building – a cool glass gallery which offers fantastic views across the rooftops of Dublin. A perfect spot for supping.
Dublin’s Temple Bar district has had its share of bad press about being awash with drunken stag and hen parties over recent years, but don’t believe the headlines. It remains a great spot for a fun – if slightly raucous – night of pubbing. The Porterhouse is another multi-level venue which frequently hosts live music and – best of all – brews a whole range of its own beers. You can choose from sprightly lagers to hoppy bitters to broody dark stouts. For something a little different try the Porterhouse Red – Irish Red ales are usually sweeter and more fruity in character than more standard ales and this one is particularly good! There’s live music on every night of the week so you’re guaranteed a bit of a sing-song too.
Doheny & Nesbitt
If you’re looking for an archetypal old Dublin boozer loaded with historic bits and pieces and full of atmosphere, there are plenty to choose from, but this place is pretty hard to beat. The tiny front bar is all wood panels ,cut glass partitions and low ceiling – sculpted in the Victorian era with papier mache. It’s the kind of place that would have been thick with smoke before the smoking ban and was a favourite with politicos and activists plotting and planning in the days of the Troubles.
Behind the front bar though, the pub opens out into a more recent, but equally atmospheric back bar too. Here there are big screen TVs and the place is packed out with roaring fans whenever the Irish rugby team are playing. Guinness is poured with the kind of attention and care you’d expect in such a traditional drinking den, but you might also be tempted by the huge selection of Irish whiskeys lined up behind the bar too.
My thanks for this article to P&O Ferries -the best people to talk to for a cheap ferry crossing to Dublin!
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