With all the commercials coming out over their new Black Lager, I had to try out this new addition to the Guinness family.Tie that into the fact that we are quickly approaching St. Patty’s day and it is very befitting. (more…)
If there’s one thing that comes to people’s minds when thinking about my destination, Ireland, it’s pubs. When in Dublin, though, it becomes clear that Ireland is by no means a one-trick
pony when it comes to good food and drink; from classy Irish restaurants to famous cafés, Dublin is teeming with choices when it comes to picking a meal to go with your 5th pint of Guinness.
I must admit, when I first arrived I made a beeline for the nearest pub. I didn’t have to look far – Dublin alone has over 600 pubs. I found a pub just outside the airport called The Coachman’s Inn, and had my first pint of the trip. It was a fine pub, but I knew Dublin had more to offer. What I recommend is that you either ask the locals or at least find a decent website to guide you to Dublin’s best.
First stop: Bewley’s Oriental Café. Bewley’s was founded in 1840 and is now the biggest importer of coffee in Ireland. The café itself was actually built in 1927 and is one of Dublin’s real gems. If hoping for a glimpse of your favourite Irish star, this might be a good place to start – the Café is known to be frequented by the likes of U2 and Bob Geldof. However, I didn’t go to Bewley’s for its living patrons so much as for its dead ones. The great author James Joyce used to come here, and the Café even named a room after him. Bewley’s Café might just be the perfect spot to read Dubliners. Authors and musicians aside, the Café’s theatre (I was treated to some classy Jazz act) and beautiful stained-glass windows make it worth a visit alone.
For famous pubs, I first headed to The Cobblestone, a popular “Trad” pub (Trad stands for traditional!). Once I’d gotten over the initial disappointment that The Cobblestone isn’t actually built out of cobblestone, I really dug the music and atmosphere. With nightly live Trad music playing there, it’s worth visiting even if you’re not planning on drinking. Next came The Brazen Head, which is supposedly the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 1198. Might I find some cobblestone here? As it turns out, nearly; its attractive exterior is built from bricks which give off a distinctive ‘Ye Olde Castle’ kind of vibe. Another great pub for live music, what most stood out for me was one of the bars, which was covered in signed notes of all different currencies. I wonder how many people have tried to steal one over the years? The Macardles Ale was particularly nice there, but for a taste of beer unique to Dublin, Microbreweries are
definitely the way to go. I’ll let you find them, because that’s half the fun…trust me.
After my pub crawl, I finally decided to visit a proper Irish restaurant … And ended up with a kebab. Close enough. I don’t remember much about it, but I’m pretty sure that in my drunken haze it tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten.
I think it’s fair to say my trip to Dublin was a success, but next time I should probably try and prove my point about Dublin not just being about the pubs …
|Meet the Author: Louis Jobin
Louis Jobin is an undergraduate studying English and Japanese Studies. His passions are European literature, Asian cuisine and Scandinavian music.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that here on MonkeyBrewster we often revisit an Irish theme. I’ve highlighted a few Irish brews on my New Brew Tuesday feature, such as Dundee Irish Red Lager, Ohara’s Irish Stout, and the Black-n-Tan vs the Half-n-Half. I talked about my St. Patty’s day celebration in Cleveland last year, which I’m doing one better by revisiting and adding my weeding to my fiancé to it this year. I even highlighted an Irish pub in Rio de Janeiro that I visited every once in a while when I was living in Brazil. Being so close to St. Patrick’s day I feel I must revisit all things Irish and take a look at 4 Irish/Irish style beers. I can’t really tell you what an Irish beer is, even the beloved Guinness is owned and run by an English company, Diageo. True Guinness is still made in Ireland, at least some of it is, but this is all tit for tat and is missing the point. The point you ask? Let’s Drink!
This is dark colored stout that has a nice thick head that sticks to the glass. It has that coffee scent to it and the taste is coffee like but almost an iced coffee taste. It isn’t too strong in any of its flavorings although I can catch a hint of. Overall I was a bit disappointed with this beer, it has that dark Guinness look but doesn’t have the taste. Which I realize no other stout has that taste, but it didn’t even have the Lion Stout taste. Sadly this stout fiddled out only 2 out of 5 bananas on its rating.
This beer has a nice but pungent smell, thicker and more aroma than the Murphy’s Stout. The color is a light yellow but it’s thick full taste and full of hops. Harp has a nice dry finish, the hops tingles the tip of your tongue as you drink this one down, although that could simply be because unlike the Murphey’s or Wexford this is a carbonated beer. This is a good quality mass produced lager that is easy to find at any Irish pub and goes good with your Black-n-Tan (Half-n-Half), and happens to be produced under Guinness Ltd. However, it is still mass produced so it does have a generic lager taste, albeit a better quality than you can typically find. This hearty lager earns 3 out of 5 bananas.
This beer, pronounced “Smidick’s” has a thicker head than the Harp and was more of a mild spiced less hops type beer. Head lasted longer than the Murphey’s Stout surprisingly. It is a full flavored beer that like Harp is mass produced by Guinness Ltd. Although it is spiced it is still slightly watered down, missing a kick as if they tamed it down a bit. It is an easy Irish beer to enjoy if you are looking to dabble in the world of beer and don’t want too much of a hops bite in your brew. It isn’t my favorite Irish Red Ale but it is still one of my favorite styles of beer so I’m a bit biased in that manner which is why it earned 3 1/2 out of 5 bananas.
This brew was different, and not the good kind. I’m not sure what was going on here, the color is not what I was expecting with a yellow/copper-ish color to it and a thick cream head. OK the cream head I was expecting but not the color. It had a toffee, vanilla and caramel mix taste that just didn’t blend right for my liking. It had a creamy mouth feel, yet still tasted watered down, it just was not impressive. This brew, like the Murphy’s Stout was served in a nitro-can which could attribute to the change in flavoring from what I was expecting. This beer only earns 1/2 out of 5 bananas. Sorry Wexford.
Need some good drinking songs to keep you jamming while you drink your liver away this St. Patty’s Day? Then check out my list of 103 Drinking Songs.
Type: Beer – Stout
Name: Ohara’s Irish Stout
In honor of St. Patrick, who was actually Welsh, on his day where we celebrate something about getting rid of snakes and emptying fluids – or was that getting rid of Druids? Anyways the Welsh guy did Catholic stuff to Ireland. (Ten years ago that wouldn’t of sounded perverted) So as far as I know, the little leprechaun kidnapped St. Patrick made him shorten his name because it was too big (thus calling him Patty even though he was a guy) and made him drink green beer.
Anyways enough about him, onto the beer. I figured sure I could go buy a Guinness, Harp or Smithwick’s but everyone knows them already which takes the fun out of it. It’s my duty to showcase something new, fresh and Irish.
Kind hearted Brazilians, a drunken Englishman and a girl named Death in the twist and turns of my visit to Shenanigans Irish Pub located near the beaches of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro.
This is not the type of story you might often hear about in travel tales, because who wants to admit to going to a touristy spot where nearly everyone speaks English and it’s almost indistinguishable from some place back home, minus the collage of accents. Truth be told I didn’t mind this place when I wanted a stout beer or just didn’t want to struggle so much to communicate with whoever filled the bar stool next to me. I was never homesick during my 4 months in Rio but I was communication sick- that is sick of communicating with the same people all the time because they were the only English speakers, well fluent ones. If you have traveled along side someone, you probably have had this moment where it isn’t that you are tired of the person but need a different type of conversation, perhaps a different perspective. So let me tell you a monkey’s tale of three very different experiences, all of which helped shaped my outlook on Rio’s Cariocas.