Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First Day In Dublin

Flight was early, airport bus ran on time and good directions found me at my hotel before 8am. Of course the room wasn't ready but they did let me leave my bag.

So I had nearly four hours to kill before my first beer. Plus I had to stay awake. So you get this nice picture of the River Liffey

I walking around I did see a promising sign...

The pubs where I saw it mostly had bottles, but I take it as a good sign that Craft Beer in Ireland really is on the upswing.

After wandering around, drinking a few cup of coffee and just killing time, I arrived at the Porterhouse on Parliament St just as they opened.

Porterhouse Temple Bar
They often have a couple of guest cask beers, but today it was their own TSB and Old Hooky from Hook Norton -- which while a nice beer, is from the UK, not Ireland -- so I started with one of my favorite beers in the world: The Porterhouse Oyster Stout.

Porterhouse Oyster Stout
It was its usual wonderful self. I actually would be happy to sit and drink this beer until I fell asleep (being jetlagged, that would be in about 2 hours) but i noticed they had a beer I had read about but not had. The Metalman Brewing (from Waterford) Pale Ale.

Metalman Brewing Pale Ale
This is billed as an American Style Pale Ale and the grapefruit notes that are often found with American hops says they hit their mark. A very nice, drinkable beer. They have been brewing for not quite a year and I hope get a chance to try some of their other beers.

I notice the Porterhouse was serving a special beer -- Bohemia, a dark Czech style lager. Ken, the barman said it was a collaboration with a Czech brewer and used the Pilsner Urquell yeast but that was all he knew.

Porterhouse Bohemia

Ooooh, was this a nice beer.  I find many dark Czech lagers to be a bit too sweet but this one had a nice dry finish and would be right at home in Prague. Another one would be nice but another one and I would be asleep at my table, so I headed over to my hotel to see if I could check in.

After a short nap (which I usually try to avoid my first day) I decided I need to get moving or I would sleep away one of my few days.

On my previous trips to Dublin one of my favorite places was L.Mulligans Grocer. I had heard they opened a sister pub, W.J. Kavanagh's on Dorset street, so I decided to pay it a visit.

They have five beer engines but tonight only had two casks to serve. A stout from Darby (England) and the Metalman Pale Ale. A tough decision -- I am here for Irish beer but the cask was one I had earlier that day. I went with the Metalman and was not disappointed.

Metalman Pale Ale on cask
The cask version was much softer and the hops much more subdued but this still was very nice. It would be tough to choose between the two -- really two different beers.

While enjoying the Metalman I noticed and old friend up in the corner of their bottle display...

An old friend (on the right)

They had a number of Golden/Pale Ales so I decided to work thru a few. I started with the Trouble Brewing Ór.

Trouble Brewing Ór
This is not a hop dominated beer -- A nice biscuity note with just enough hops in the finish to make you want another sip.

Moving to the next tap, I ordered an Eight Degrees Howling Gale Ale.

Eight Degrees Howling Gale Ale

After the subtle hops of the Ór the more aggressive hops here were a wake up call. Yum.

I had hoped to get in a few more beers, but jet lag was kicking in so it was time to choose the last beer. I really wanted the Eight Degrees Knockmealdown Porter but some of the other patrons had had the cask stout from Derby and since that might not be there when I come back, I decided to break a rule and have a non Irish beer.

The beer was the Iron Gate Stout from the Black Iris brewery in Derby. I didn't recognize the name but a little googling showed it was at the Flower Pot Pub in Derby -- which I had visited and like on my trip there many years ago.

Black Iris Iron Gate Stout
A nice finish to the evening -- a strong roasted barley flavor with a nice hoppy (but not too hoppy -- it is an English beer) finish.  Rules are made to be broken and breaking this one was well worth it.

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