Dublin beer crawl, part two
Plan was to head up to the city for the biggest Dublin derby of the year between Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers, and have a day out about town sampling the pubs of Dublin. This time round without the Guinness. Drinking mostly Smithwicks, and for all you beer snobs, it’s a beer crawl not a craft beer tasting session, so get over it!
The Ha’penny Bridge Inn 42 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland https://www.facebook.com/HaPennyBridgeInn
In the Ha’penny
Got off the bus just near O Connell Street, so we (me and the brother) decided to head for our first pint, and an early one at that, at The Ha’penny Bridge Inn, just across the Liffey from the Ha’penny Bridge (imagine that!). This popular bar in Dublin is a good place for comedy and live music. It has comedy nights a few times a week, with the odd live mike thrown in now and again, and it’s where you can see well known and up and coming comedians try out their new material. And the music they have on offer isn’t just your standard Irish pub fair, bluegrass and blues can often be heard upstairs on a cold wet Dublin night.
The bar is just around the corner from Temple bar, but it’s cheaper (around €5 for a pint) and probably better than anything on that tourist blighted area. Quieter and with a mostly local clientele, this bar is a good place to sit down and have a friendly chat, without any music blaring off a radio, or sports on the box turned to the max.
Just over the Liffey
The bar man/owner/manager “Mick” is a bit of a legend, with his piercing wit and comic outbursts. For people that are not used to his one-liners and banter they might be a little unnerved by his directness, but he is a funny fecker, and chatty to boot. It’s always good sport watching a lost tourist wander in trying to figure out if they were insulted by the barman, or not! Once my brother, not a regular, walked into the bar one morning, and without a word Mick threw him the keys and told him to open up the jacks (toilets) for the customers! He is definitely a character. But don’t be put off by that description, Mick, the bar staff and the regulars are all very welcoming, and it’s very easy to strike up a good chat in this old style Dublin boozer. The rumour is that Mick might be the inspiration behind a famous bar man off a very popular comedy show on RTE, an Irish TV station. Perhaps, or so the story goes!
The Guinness is pretty good in this place as to be expected with the Brewery only up the road, but I wanted to lay off the black stuff, so I went for a pint of Harp, since it was such a long time I had seen that drink on tap!
Sitting down with the brother, ready to enjoy our drinks, it wasn’t long before we were joined by some good company. Met a lad from Cork, who was up for the Hurling match the previous day. They lost to Tipperary, quite heavily it has to be said. Sure enough Mick got involved, telling us he was a Tipp man, and needless to say that’s when the friendly ribbing started. All good fun, and a perfect way to start the beer crawl. Good pint in good company, talking about sport, and it was only about 12 in the day. Can’t ask for much more in life than that!
Unfortunately we couldn’t hang around, and off we went to collect the tickets for the game.
Casa Rebelde 4 fownes street Upper, Dublin, http://casarebelde.com/
Was collecting my tickets from this football store in Temple Bar. Could have bought them at the game but wanted to show the brother this shop. Casa Rebelde stock all sorts of football t shirts and jerseys, mostly with a political or ultra-slant. It’s the kind of shop if I ever had a decent wedge of money I could spend a packet in here. Was particularly impressed with the tees for Dead Man’s Shoes, awesome! The owner was friendly yet refused to sell me the signed Diego jersey on the wall. Bastard!
Quays Bar Temple Bar Dublin 2 https://www.facebook.com/quaysbartemplebar?fref=ts
After the shop was dying for a pish so went straight to the Quays. With its central location and very classic exterior it was hard not to go into this bar. Noted the standard toilet setting that all good bars seem to have, and was ready for another drink. Quays Bar in the heart of Dublin’s famous Temple Bar is a bit of a touristy bar, but it does offer great live traditional music every day.
As it was still relatively early there was very few customers in the bar, so I can’t really write up too much about the bar. Had a decent pint and some small chat with the bar man. I chided him for including David Costa in his fantasy football team, how wrong was that! I drank a pint of Smithwicks, which as you can see from the photo, was great.
The Dawson Lounge 25 Dawson St, Dublin 2 https://www.facebook.com/TheDawsonLounge
Next up was the Dawson Lounge, a pub the brother wanted to show me, which was situated just around the corner from St Stephens Green. Apparently it’s the smallest pub in Ireland, so yeah I had to see this small boozer. It was very easy to pass by, in fact we did! It has a very small entrance with a stairs that leads down to the dimly lit basement pub. The staff said that when full to capacity it can hold about 50 to 60 people, at maximum squash! The bar was busy for that time of the day, but it was surprisingly easy to find a seat and some leg room, maybe we Irish are tiny bastards?
Had a Smithwicks, which was fine, and enjoyed the bar room atmosphere which was lovely and cosy. I definitely will try and return for a cold wintry day as I can imagine how warm it would be snuggled up sipping a nice hot whisky as it snows outside. The novelty factor is very enticing, definitely a bar I would love to show to a foreign friend visiting Dublin for a few days, as it’s a fun bar to check out.
The only problem I had with the bar was its so small that you can overhear what others are saying. No problem for me that talks shite, but unfortunately I had to hear the conversation going on beside me which was all about Shopping and “My course in Trinity”. A little off putting, but that’s the luck of the draw I guess.
Madigan’s 4 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Madigans-Abbey-St-Dublin/187768177973132?fref=ts
Always get my scruffy hair cut in Dublin, in Dobro Polski on Talbot Street to be exact. The Polish give cheap haircuts that are quick, easy and don’t mess around, simples. So we had to leave the Southside and head across O Connell bridge and make our way off too Talbot Street.
But we decided to try a quick pint in Madigan’s on Lower Abbey Street, just across from the Luas stop, to break up our walk. The pub appears lovely from the outside, a real old fashioned bar, and inside it has the hallmarks of a decent looking boozer. The pub was very quiet, but perhaps that is what trade is like off O Connell Street on a lazy Monday afternoon. Madigan’s do good food, but we decided to have another pint of Smithwicks and stave off the food for another while. Its perfect location means that it’s a good bar for a pit stop, a quick pint after a day’s shopping or whatever. Nothing really to rate as there was no atmosphere or chat, but the pint was good, service fine, and batteries refreshed.
Mother Kelly’s 74 Talbot St, Dublin 1 https://www.facebook.com/pages/mother-kellys-talbot-street/116806058354122?fref=ts
Got my hair cut in Talbot Street, took a little bit too much off, but heh at least it will do me for a few months! Met the brother who was waiting in the nearby Mother Kelly’s, a bar I had never drank in before, not many of them left, eh! Tired, sat down and enjoyed another good pint of Smithwicks, in a small but lovely looking pub. Didn’t get to chat to anyone but sensed that a good atmosphere was building up. A decent crowd was present, the bar staff were extremely friendly, and I’d say if we had stayed we would have met a few interesting characters no doubt. Really enjoyed my pint and time in Mother Kelly’s and will definitely be back in this boozer next time I’m up for drinks in Dublin. A nice little boozer in the heart of Talbot Street, recommended.
J and M Cleary 36 Amiens Street Dublin 1
J and M Cleary
The Big Fella
For our next drink we went to J and M Cleary’s just under the railway bridge to Connolly Station on Amiens Street. One of my favourite old time Dublin boozers, always like to pop into this bar just so I can ogle at all the cool old style photos and pictures on the wall, mostly commemorating Irelands 1916 Rising and War of Independence. Apparently a few of the people on the photos actually used to drink in this pub too! And I was also told that the pub was used a few times as a bar room setting in the movie Michael Collins.
Apart from all that, the pub had a good friendly atmosphere with some interesting characters in attendance, the bar staff were up for a good chat, and the pint of Smithwicks I had was top stuff! Overall a good experience and definitely a pub that one could easily while away a good few hours in. Recommended.
Mullets 45 Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Just down the road from Cleary’s we ventured into Mullets bar. From the outside there seemed to be a lot of noise coming from the pub. Sure enough the place was pretty busy, with a rather boisterous atmosphere building up. Even though I used to live up the road in Fairview I never drank in this bar before. No particular reason but never really noticed it before, which sounds a bit mad when I think about it. This is where we started to see the Tuborg promotions, which we would subsequently encounter a lot from there on in. But we stuck to the pints of Smithwicks, which were nice and cold. The bar has a definite republican leaning and that could be seen all over the walls, with an awesome collection of Bodhrans adorned all around the pub. The two country lads had to endure a bit of Dublin wit but we are well able for that kind of “banter”. A decent pub and will definitely be back again for a longer stay in the future.
Lloyds 46 Amiens St, Dublin 1 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lloyds-Bar-Lounge/186269958152548?fref=ts
Didn’t have to walk too far to get to the next pub, Lloyds is right beside Mullets bar. They should really knock the adjacent wall and have a walk through! Lloyds is a family run pub that dates all the way back to 1893 and has a fairly lively atmosphere going on at all times of the day. The horse racing was one so we decided to have a few bets, all losers of course, but good fun with a nice pint of Smithwicks, friendly staff, and some good company. Funny to see the CCTV camera at the bar, but I guess this part of Dublin can get hairy at times, a fatal stabbing just up the road the previous night! Not a bad old pub, and one to return to in the near future.
Molloy’s Bar Talbot Street, Dublin 1 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Molloys-Talbot-Street-Dublin-1/124000427635583
Molloy’s Bar Side Entrance
We were getting hungry at this stage. Eight beers and not a bit too eat, so we decided to go back on ourselves and head over to Malloy’s Bar on Talbot Street, in at the side door to where they serve their food.
Now I already had reviewed Molloy’s bar before, in my ten pints of Guinness ten pubs Dublin beer crawl, but I know they have good food and it was handy for a pit stop. Just to say that I like this pub: near the bookies, always a decent lively atmosphere, good pints and nice food. Did the business.
Previous review here>
O’Reilly’s Bros, Inns Quay Dublin 7
As we were heading back into the city I really fancied a pint in O’Reillys Bros bar near Smithfield. The bar is well known as one of the few remaining bars left in Dublin that has a license to open at six in the morning. I have drank it in from six before, after an all-nighter, and it’s a pretty cool experience to be drunk at the same time as so many are heading off to work in the morning. It’s a decent old style boozer, rough and ready, with some real characters in attendance. Had a pretty good pint of Smithwicks, and listened to some classic music off their jukebox. I like this bar, always great fun in it, and one I definitely would recommend for people who want to start an early bar crawl in the city. Recommended.
The Celt Pub 81 Talbot St, Dublin
We ended up next back up to Talbot Street for now the third time, as we got a call from a few people who were heading to the game who were drinking in The Celt Bar. I was never in this bar before as I figured it was a touristy kind of bar what with its fancy looking menu and its cheesy enough name. But to be fair it does have a very good reputation and has music seven times a week on show. Unfortunately no music was on when we arrived but the bar was heaving at the seams, which goes to show you that it must be a decent pub considering it was a lazy Monday afternoon. The Smithwicks was fine, and the service friendly, but can’t really rate the bar as it was so packed and we were beginning to notice that the game was fast approaching. But I made a mental note to return to this bar someday in the future just to experience the live music and ambiance that everyone raves about. Oh yeah, they also have two parrots at the back of the bar on watch! As we were about to head out the door, and make our way to Dalymount Park for the match, we were told that the game was off, but no way did we believe it, surely it was more of this “Dublin wit” that we heard throughout the day!
Dalymount in sight
But it was true. At the time we had no idea why. I figured it might be some kind of trouble as this game does have a bite to it, a big Dublin derby with a lot of headers always around for a scrap, and the area was absolutely teeming with filth. After mulling about with supporters outside we heard that the real reason it was called off was due to a failed late pitch inspection. WTF!!! After heading up for the day especially with this match in mind, I was a little peeved at the late notice. Maybe I should have stayed the day in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn all along. But that’s life, especially life in the badly run League of Ireland. Not sure if it was the correct decision, but shame on Bohemians FC for not making the pitch playable despite many warnings the week beforehand.
The Bohemian (McGeoughs) 66 Phibsboro Rd Phibsboro, Dublin 7
So nothing was to be done only head to the Bohemians bar not far from the ground. The Bohemian bar is nearly as old as Dalymount Park, if not older. It hasn’t changed a whole lot in those 100 years or more with its distinct old style feel to it. A decent boozer with a nice pint of Smithwicks, with a good friendly crowd present despite the postponed game. Had a very deep and long conversation with what looked like two of Dublin’s biggest Cliff Richard fans. They were sticking by their hero, lock him up I say! Good banter though!
After seeing so many promos for Tuborg all over town and in a lot of the bars we had seen I decided to try the damn thing. It was fine I guess, bit strong, but hard to say as it was drank a little rushed. At this stage we were both very tired, a long day, a lot of walking, not much to eat but a good bit to drink. After getting a bit of food in a local chipper we decided to start the long trek to the bus station.
The Brew Dock Amiens Street Dublin 1 https://www.facebook.com/thebrewdock?fref=ts
Just across from the bus station is The Brew Dock which used to be known as Kate’s Cottage. The old rustic style décor is more or less the same as the old bar, but the beers on tap and on offer are totally different. Gone is the Guinness, the Smithwicks, the Bud, and all the mass produced beer and in its place is some of the finest craft beers you can find in the capital city. Their selection is boundless, 21 taps, with craft beers from both Ireland and the USA. They have a sign outside that reads “No crap on tap”. Anyway it’s a handy pub for a pint before heading home, and we changed our beers again. No Smithwicks this time round so we went for Boston’s finest, a pint of Samuel Adams. A decent pint and it was refreshing to be in a nice relaxed bar with no loud music or a TV as an unnecessary distraction. Now Kate Cottage’s was a good pub that was relatively popular, so it’s a big step for The Brew Dock to set up a trendy craft beer pub this side of the town. I am guessing that they are hoping to attract a lot of attention from the office types that work in the nearby Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC). But that’s the thing, I found the atmosphere a little dead to be honest. Nice and relaxed and calming, but not really a place that you would meet someone new, have the “craic”, or a place with some serious true Dublin character. A little bit contrived, but heh these places are supposedly popular nowadays so it remains to be seen if it works out for them in the long run. I would like to have a good taste of all those exciting looking beers though! Some day!
So overall a good day of drinking in the capital city. Met some interesting people, and had a lot to drink. Despite my drinking tally in double figures, I wasn’t too bad, and I’m already looking forward to doing a part three sometime around Christmas or early next year!! Bring it on!
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Dublin beer crawl, part two
Originally published at thisdrinkinglife.com on October 25, 2014.