Sunday, January 26, 2020

Dublin Day 3

Checking over my notes, I realized it had been quite a few years since I was out to Rathgar. It was also somewhat in the direction of my main goal, so I hopped on a bus and was soon there.

There is a pizza place called The Revolution that last time I was there stocked a good selection of bottled craft beer but had no taps. I heard they had added a couple of taps so I went to check it out. They had two O’Brother beers on tap (didn’t get a picture) but it looked like there was some kind of private party going on so I didn’t go in.

At the same intersection is The 108, another Galway Bay Brewery pub.

This one is a bit different than the pubs in the city center. They have a good range of their own beers but not too many interesting guests. They also have the industrial beers that you’d find at a typic Dublin pub. You know, the one with the harp and the one with the red star.

I started off with their Helles, which was quite nice.

It was lunch time so I ordered their Beef Stew. Not quite what I expected but it tasted good.

I really like their Of Foam and Fury Double IPA but at 8.5% I thought it a bit much with more places to visit. So I had the Stormy Port Porter. Again, very nice. It helps that I have a number of 50 cent off coupons courtesy of my membership in Beoir, the Irish Beer Consumers group (their equivalent of CAMRA, PiNT, Zythos, etc). Traveled all this way to save a Euro!

I hopped on another bus and after a bit of a walk was at the Four Provinces taproom pub. The brewery is in the industrial park (excuse me, “industrial estate”) behind. This was a proper old pub they took over a year or so ago. A bunch of their beers, some Irish craft guests and the usual suspects of industrial beers.

I had tasted their Piper Amber at Taproom 47 the other night so I ordered a pint of that. A very nice.

When I posted the picture on Twitter a bunch of people replied “Get the Láidir if it’s on.”  Immediately the brewery Twitter account replied to the effect, “Sorry, we’re out and the next batch is conditioning and should be ready in a couple of weeks.” Darn. Then as an afterthought they posted, “Unless Ross stashed away a barrel.” So I went and checked the tap handles and sure enough Láidir Robust Porter was one. I asked the barman, “Is that on?” He gave me smile and said yes. So I replied “You must be Ross,” which he affirmed and said “Yes, I stashed a barrel. I really like this beer.”. I can say to everybody, Ross is the Man! We had a nice conversation. Turns out he had lived in Copenhagen for a while and we discussed our favorite Copenhagen pubs.

Oh, and the beer. It was magnificent 

I want to tell Irish brewers, stop with the hazy juice IPAs, the mango kiwi kettle sours, the imperial black saisons (OK, that one was Belgian) and brew beers like this. Your beer culture is dark beers, embrace it! But I know they have to make a living and if the public wants mango kiwi sours then they have to brew them. Oh well.

After a while, it was time to head back. Again my plans were foisted by Google maps. I had a place in mind and Google maps told me they stop to get off. Except that wasn’t the name Dublin Bus uses for the stop. I had actually noticed that on my way to The 108 but I had my phone out and could see this was the stop I wanted (plus I remembered it). The bus from Four Provinces was crowded, so I didn’t have my phone out until too late. The bus did go on to a block or so from my hotel, so I took that as sign. So I went up to my room and proceeded to check my inner eyelids for leaks.

A bit later my stomach growled so I went off to the Black Sheep for some food and a beer. By my reckoning this is the best of the Dublin Galway Bay Pubs, though I’m sure others have their favorites.

It was crowed (as would be expected for a Saturday night) and the only seat I found was at the bar. They have taps in two rooms and the back room is also where the hand pumps are. I noticed they had three cask beers on but I couldn’t really get close enough to see what they were. But one had a Rascal’s logo so I ordered that.

Turns out to be their Big Smoke Imperial Stout. Very nice.

A burger sounded right to me, so I ordered the Elvis Burger. Big mistake, the thing was ginormous.

That needed another beer, so I finally got my Of Foam and Fury. I had forgotten that it comes in a smaller glass — I could have had one at lunch after all. But I did get my 50 cents off.

Up the street a bit Galway Bay has a new place called Paddle & Peel. Until recently it was another beer bar, The Beerhouse, that was decent. (On my first visit to Dublin it was a still different place with a name like Byrne’s Beverage House). Supposedly this is a prototype for a new chain of gourmet pizza and beer restaurants. I stuck my head in the door, thinking maybe a nightcap but the Elvis Burger was still sitting in my gut and the smell of pizza did not have a good effect. So I called it a night.

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