OTG – Ireland

Every so often it’s good to get off the rock and visit someplace else and when we do this we like to seek out the best places for beer!

I recently visited Ireland with the family. While it’s not a direct flight from Bermuda it is a most amazing place that of course includes lots of great beer, great pubs, and amazing beer history!  Ireland is most famous for one beer brand, Guinness, which is located in the capital city of Dublin. Dublin is modern modern big city with some great dining and bars but in this adventure started when we trekked all over the Emerald Isle from East, West, North, and South!

Guinness

You can’t talk about Ireland without Guinness! Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. While Ireland is it’s home it is brewed in almost 50 different countries today. Guinness is sold worldwide and accounts for 1.8 billion US pints of beer a year! It is also the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where the Irish consume almost €2 billion of it annually.

During the day we opted for the standard tourist visit to St James Gate called the Guinness Storehouse. It was well worth the trip but remember it is a tourist attraction, kids and all!

Guinness Open Gate Project

Beyond the Guinness Storehouse to see the real action you need to get reservations for the Guinness Open Gate Project in the evening.That evening with a sitter booked to watch the children we headed back to the Guinness Compound to visit the Open Gate Project, Guinness’s experimental brewery. Here we spent a few hours talking with other beer lovers and sipping on some of Guinness’s craft and one-off beer selections surrounded by the equipment that makes these test beers.

Kilkenny and Mallow

After leaving the big city behind we made a stop in Kilkenny where we stayed in an amazing bed and breakfast near the Kells Priory. In this little town there was just one pub where we enjoyed a nice Guinness of course! Later we while making our way to Dingle we stopped in Mallow where we found Eight Degrees Session IPA on the menu at a fantastic restaurant. Also in Mallow we found a Tesco that had a few other craft beers, the McGargles Francis’ Big Bangin IPA quickly became my favorite.

Dingle Brewing Company

Our next stop took us to Dingle, a town on the west coast or Ireland. We visited the Dingle Brewing Company, here they only make one beer, a golden Lager. From the map we were not the first from Bermuda to visit this brewery!

Galway

Finishing our trip up the west coast of Ireland we visited the Oslo Pub, the original home of the Galway Brewing Company. Here we sampled many of their great craft beers, my favorite being their Double IPA named Of Foam and Fury. Also at the resort we were staying at we were able to sample several beers from O’Hares craft beers from Carlow Brewing Company.

Even with it’s rich beer history, there sadly isn’t a booming craft beer culture in Ireland. As we saw, it is alive and growing but like Bermuda it’s dominated by the big beer brands. Still, Ireland was an amazing place and highly recommend it for a beer-cation.

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