Friday, December 23, 2011

The 12 CraftBeer Pubs of Christmas


The possibly not so old tradition of the 12 pubs of Christmas seems to be gaining momentum in Dublin these days and while it may be fun for those on board the journey for the rest of us it can be annoying. Large gangs of people festooned in Christmas jumpers barge into pubs, lash down a pint and hit the road to the next pub.   If you don't know what I'm on about, and you don't like beer, now is the time to look away. You might recall the 12 days of Christmas song and instead of useless gifts replace it with tasty beer. In my case beautiful Irish craftbeer.

SO last Wednesday I recruited 8 other members from my workplace, who wanted to be enlightened on craftbeer, and off we set. The idea being we visit 12 pubs and drink 12 different Irish craftbeers. Not likely I hear you say but it actually is fairly easy these days considering the rise of quality beer in the capital's bars. With the help of Beoir.org's beerfinder app it was plain sailing. The App lists all pubs stocking craftbeer and is regularly updated to keep you at the cutting edge of drinking. 


Armed with the App and knowing I had an expectant audience who needed to visit some quality establishments we hit the road.

Here is a rundown of where we went and how we fared.

1 Against The Grain - Wexford St- Tom Creans Lager - pint. Had a nice spot of lunch here. The enormous chips are fantastic. Huge selection of irish craft beers on tap as well as many other favourites and surprises in bottle form. Great staff to guide you too.

2 The Long Hall - South Great George's St- Galway Hooker - pint. A lovely old pub that gleams from the outside. Nice big window to sit at and watch the madness outside. Hooker was the only Irish micro on tap.

3 The Bank - Dame St - Headless Dog - bottle. Can be a busy spot and full of bustle. Carraig lager on tap as well as Hooker. Decent range of Hilden in the fridge.

4 O'Neill's - Suffolk St - 8 Degrees Brewing Sun Burnt Irish Red - pint. A very large selection of craftbeer here but I'm not convinced about the quality of cellarmanship at times.

5 PorterHouse Central - Nassau St - Bohemia Freak Out - half. Another busy spot anytime of day. Full range of PH beers plus a few other micros on tap.

6 Doyles - Fleet St. - O'Haras IPA - pint. You can be find a quiet corner at the right time of day. IPA was the only craftbeer available on tap.

7 Bowes - Fleet St - O'Haras Red - half. Great pub and a well looked after ale. They shift at least a keg a week and even more of the IPA they tell me.

8 Messrs Maguire - Burgh Quay - Jul Ol - pint. This seasonal is malty and very satisfying at 6%. Get in here early to avoid the madness.

9 Palace bar - Fleet Street - Dungarvin - Copper Coast Cask - half. It's great to see cask in so many pubs but they need to be on the ball and realise when a beer is past it's best. I like copper coast and this was nearly as good as it usually is but maybe the furnace heat in the jammed packed palace bar doesn't help it.

10 Farringtons - Templebar - Metalman IPA. A bit of a surprise on the craftbeer front but they offer quite the selection and in a lot better condition than elsewhere.

11 Porterhouse Templebar - Celebration Stout 12%. No more needs to be said about this place.

12 Bull and Castle - Lord Edward St - 8 Degrees Brewing - Howling Gale Ale pint. The last on the list and certainly worse for ware we got a seat at the bar and with the choice they offer here we never had to consider drinking the same beer twice.

At this stage we needed a Zaytoon (kebabery).

It was a great day out and the enthusiasm for Irish craft beer that was shown by the bar staff we met was fantastic to see. Long may it last. Looking forward to next year and planning a new route.


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