Would you prefer a Guinness or a Murphy’s?
Until two years ago, that was your choice when you stepped foot in any Irish pub. Sure there were a few other big name lager choices and some Beamish on occasion, but, for the most part, you had your pick of two very similar creamy stouts. Like we said, that was a few years ago.
Today, Ireland is in the midst of a craft beer revolution. And while ‘revolution’ was applied haphazardly to what has happened in America, when you consider the rich history of the Irish pub beverage, the term is far more aptly applied to what’s going down in Ireland. There are currently over 40 craft breweries operating within Irish borders, and craft beer sales have jump at least 30% each year since 2012.
Where should you go to experience these new Irish brews that deviate so far off the easy-drinking, slowly poured stout path? Dublin. And what pubs should you stop in? What beers should you look for? Which breweries are the finest? We’ve got you covered with The Craft Beer Guide to Dublin.
The 5 Best Irish Craft Breweries
5. Porterhouse Brewing Company
Porterhouse Temple Bar was Ireland’s first brewpub, opening its doors back in 1996. The brewery, which has now been separated from the pub, offered locals interesting beer options before interesting beer options were even a thing. Clearly they were on to something as they now operate three locations in Dublin—along with others in Cork, London, and even NYC—all of which serve up their tasty offerings. They also serve up one of the finest stouts in all of Ireland, which you’ll hear more about in a bit. Link
4. Trouble Brewing
Want to show you’re part of an Irish revolution? Launch your craft brewery on St. Paddy’s day. That’s what Paul O’Connor and Stephen Clinch did back in 2010. Their brewery, Trouble Brewing, has gained a reputation for their cartoonish labels and their rich beers. We really dig how they brew American IPAs along with English IPAs, the latter of which is something we don’t see enough of stateside. Try Graffiti, their American IPA, and Dark Arts, their exceptional English Porter, if you have the chance. Link
3. Brown Paper Bag Project
The guys behind one of the best craft beer bars in Dublin also happen to be behind one of the best “breweries” in Ireland. We say “breweries” because the trio behind Brown Paper Bag Project are actually gypsy brewers—brewers who don’t have their own brewery and use other breweries’ equipment. Home base or no home base, Brown Paper Bag Project crafts some delicious beer. First started in 2012, the guys have teamed up with others to create killer IPAs, Pilsners, and other beers including one hell of a gose. Snatch up their bottles when you see them, and don’t forget to see what’s on at L. Mulligan Grocers, their aforementioned bar. Link
2. Eight Degrees Brewing
It all started with Amber Ella, an amber ale Eight Degrees brewed a couple years back that won a medal at the World Beer Cup. The beer, for the record, is fantastic. It’s hard to impress with an amber, and Eight Degrees knocked theirs out of the park. Since then, the brewery has gone on to crank out tremendous stouts, IPAs, and more from their brewery in Cork. Link
1. Galway Bay Brewing Company
Galway Bay Brewing Company doesn’t just make our favorite Double IPA in all of Ireland, they make one of our favorite Double IPAs, period. It’s a beer that you won’t see stateside, but it can go toe-to-toe with Heady and Pliny. (More about it when you get to Best Beers.) But Galway Bay Brewing isn’t some one hit wonder. Built on the success of many world-class beers, the team of Jason O’Connell and Niall Walsh have gone on to open eight bars throughout Dublin and Galway, all of which serve the aforementioned brews. We can honestly recommend just about all of their ocean-themed beers, and no Dublin craft beer trip is complete without some of them. Link