Well, it was closed and no opening times posted, so I headed over to the second pub on my list, The Cobblestone pub. It too was closed but a sign implied they opened at 4pm. They had a big banner from Dublin Brewing Company, a microbrewery that closed down a while ago. But I took that as a good sign that they might still have decent beer.
Inside they had a sign stating "College Green Belfast Blonde" on draught, but sadly it wasn't on. Their "House Beer" was a Lithuanian Brewery, Svyturys. They had three on draft and I chose the "Dark Red." It wasn't all that dark but it was a pretty nice lager. Nice malt flavor and a bit of caramel.
I asked about bottles and he said they had a good selection of American beers but that he guessed I didn't come to Dublin for that. Since I asked about a College Green beer he asked me if I had tried the Headless Dog. I had seen that sign on the Porterhouse and had thought it was a brewery, but it turns out it was a beer. So I had one:
College Green brewery is in Belfast, so technically this is an imported beer (I'll stay away from the politics). There where some American hops in there giving it a nice citrus-y bite. Hopefully I can find it in draught or cask while I am here.
I decided to head over to the other brewpub in Dublin, Messer's Maguire. It is on the other side of the Liffey at the foot of one of the bridges. I headed in what I thought was the right direction but ended up a bridge to soon. No worries, except that is where the Porterhouse is. I couldn't pass that by. So in I went had had their seasonal beer, a Vienna Lager:
The beer was fine but I would have liked it with a little more Vienna Malt character. There was a slight burnt note that was just not quite right, as if they had used a little roasted barley for the color. Not bad at all, but not their best beer. So in that case, I had a pint of their best beer, the Oyster Stout. Didn't take a picture as you've seen it already.
Messers Maguire is just a couple blocks down and I was soon there.
They had five of their beers on draft and did a sampler, so I had one. With that I ordered a sampler of Irish Cheese.
The beers were a Lager, Weizen, Bock, Red Ale and Plain Stout. The Lager was a typical light lager, nothing exceptional but drinkable. I thought the Weizen had a little too much hop bitterness, the Bock was OK but could use a little more malt. The Red Ale was tasty and the Plain Stout was delightful. No bonus points for guessing which I had.
I asked the bartender if he had any other Irish beers on draft (they had about 20 other taps) and he looked a bit sheepish and said "Just Guinness." So I decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. There was a bus stop right across the street, so I thought I'd see if a bus heading toward the hotel came by. The second bus had on its list of stops "Stoneybatter" -it's not that long a street so I hopped the bus and got off right across the street from L. Mulligan Grocer.
I noticed they had the Belfast Blonde on draught so I tried one. It was almost a golden color and while tasty, I think I like the Headless Dog better.
I could see a beer engine down the bar so I asked what they had on cask. It was the Trouble Brewing Dark Arts Porter. So I had one:
It was dark black but there was a portion of chocolate malt in there -- I combination I like. And there was some nice hop bitterness in there to balance it out. My number two beer of the trip so far (after the Oyster Stout).
I was talking with the bartender and one of the locals and somehow the cost of beer came up. The bartender said if I had €100 burning a hole in my pocket he had a beer for me and put a bottle of Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin on the bar in front of me.
I am not a fan of Brewdog beers and a €100 will keep me in beer for a few days at least, so I politely declined.
For my night cap I had an O'Hara's Stout. This has shown up in LA at a few places and I had liked it there. It was better here and while good, it only made it to #4 on my list of stouts and porters that day:
I was going to leave but gentleman sitting next to me at the bar wanted me to try a beer he liked, the Innis & Gunn Oak Aged beer from Scotland.
It had a nice oak flavor but it was clearly light struck (clear bottle) it was not undrinkable but you had to remember not to breathe in when drinking.
So just as a recap, my favorite Stouts (and Porters) of the day:
- Porterhouse Oyster Stout
- Trouble Brewing Dark Arts
- Messers Maguire Plain Stout
- O'Hara's Stout
- Guinness Extra Foreign Stout (bottle)
- Guinness Draught
- Guinness Extra Stout (bottle)
Tomorrow is an off day, beer wise. I am taking a bus tour thru County Wicklow, just to see some countryside.