Thursday, January 22, 2015

Arrived in Dublin...

...after a bit of a hard flight. That was mostly my fault, though. I had a three and half hour layover in JFK and near the gate was an outpost of the famous BBQ restaurant Blue Smoke. They also had a decent number of local craft beers. So I had one with dinner -- and one before and one after dinner.

So I arrived in Dublin jet lagged and slightly hung over.

After dropping my bags at my hotel, I went for a walk and ended up at the Norseman Pub, formerly known as The Farrington.

They have 28 taps, which is an increase over last year. About 2/3 of them are Irish Craft beers, the rest being industrial beers. It is Temple Bar and they get lot's of tourists so I don't begrudge them that -- to much.

I wanted to start out with a Dublin brewed beer but my choice, 5 Lamps Honor Bright Red Ale was not on, so I went a Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA. It's brewed in Cork so local only in the sense it is Irish.

Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA
 The beer was very nice -- a nice malt backing and just enough hops that you can fairly call it an IPA.

My next choice was a Kinnegar Yannaroddy Porter.  I remember one of their beers, Scraggy Bay, from previous trips so little risk was involved.

Kinnegar Yannaroddy Porter
A very nice Porter it was. Some burnt, roasty notes gave it what an American home brewer might call  a Stout character but remember, in Ireland "Stout" and "Porter" are often somewhat interchangeable.

The jet lag was creeping up, so I decide to move on. The temperature outside was in high 30s/low 40s (Fahrenheit) so it was quite brisk and what I needed. Unfortunately for my jet lag but fortunately for my mouth, my walk took me right to the Porterhouse Brewing Company's Temple Bar pub (and formerly the site of their brewery).

The Porterhouse Oyster Stout is one of my favorite beers in the world. So I had a pint. Only only one, which shows how jet-lagged I was.

Porterhouse Oyster Stout

The Porterhouse also has a good selection of Guest beers.

Being winter, they have a number of stronger beers -- something to look forward to on a future visit. I had a bowl of Seafood Chowder with my Oyster and then moved on. I had had some issues with my Irish SIM card for my smartphone and went to get that squared away and by then it was time to check in at my hotel.

After a couple of hours of contemplation, I was ready for round two. I headed up to W.J. Kavanagh's

This place was originally a sister pub to L. Mulligan Grocer's when it suddenly closed in early 2014.  In late March it re-opened under new ownership (the folks who ran the Off-license next door). On my visit last year it showed great promise but had a ways to go.

They are there. They've increase the taps to 21, added two hand pumps and increased the bottle range.

I started off with Rascal's Big Hop Red.

Rascal's Big Hop Red
 The beer lived up to it's name.

Since I had good luck with my earlier Kinnegar beer, I next tried their Rustbucket Rye.

Kinnegar Rustbucket Rye
 I wasn't disappointed. Some spicy notes from the rye, and a balance of hops and malt made for a very tasty beer.

The two hand pumps had Old Rosie, a very nice English Cider and Fyne Ales (from Scotland) Superior IPA. I've had a number of beers from Fyne Ales but not this one, but I put it off until I've tried more Irish beers...

The day was catching up and I figured I had one more pint in me, so I had an 8 Degrees The Full Irish, which they describe as a "Single Malt IPA."

8 Degrees The Full Irish
I think this was my favorite new beer of the day (all were new to me except the Oyster Stout). Very hoppy but a strong malt backing. They also had this a the Porterhouse so maybe a comparison tasting is in order...


The Beer Nut said...

Welcome back! You can never be 100% sure of the Irishness of Franciscan Well's core range. Molson Coors brews a lot of it at the Sharp's brewery in England.

The Mad Brewer said...

Thank! Good to know about Franciscan Well -- any thoughts/knowledge on the origins of Chieftain?

The Beer Nut said...

As in which brewery made the particular half-pint you drank? There's no way of knowing.