I have a confession. I have never ‘done’ twelve pubs in a night. That said, here are a few suggestions of pubs around the country where you’re guaranteed to find a warm welcome or a roaring fire or good food, they all have fantastic beer and some of them tick all the boxes!
1) The Salt House, Galway; my favourite pub in one of the most fun parts of the country. This cozy spot has an amazing selection of beers and is always full of life. The staff are friendly and really know their beer.
2) Brewery Corner, Carlow; here you’ll find the full O’Hara’s range on draught as well as some other fine Irish and international beers. If you’re lucky there’ll also be some live entertainment.
3) The Blind Pig, Limerick; this very cool bar has regular DJ nights and the finest of beers.
4) The Bierhaus, Cork; this bar has a BIG array of taps, guest beers on cask and a bewildering choice of bottles. It being the People’s Republic, you’re guaranteed to be included in the conversation which will largely involve slagging.
5) Furey’s, Sligo; another cozy spot, you’ll be made feel welcome and if you don’t fancy the Irish craft beers on offer ( and you should) they’re also known for a quality pint of the black shtuff.
6) The Malt House, Athlone; a favourite haunt of mine, they host Athlone Beer Club meetings, there is always a relaxed atmosphere and you’ll find Black Donkey and Metalman beers on tap.
7) Don’s, Moate; I could hardly forget my local, the Bo Bristle Stout on draught is always a winner here and they have bottles from other local breweries like St. Mel’s. And you could clink glasses with me!
8) 57 The Headline, Dublin; this pub boasts the largest selection of Irish craft beer In. The. Country. They also serve delicious food.
9) L. Mulligan, Dublin; speaking of delicious food, Mulligan’s does a line in tasty grub and has a fine selection of beers including their own Brown Paper Bag Project.
10) JW Sweetman’s, Dublin; the only brewpub in the city, has a great core range as well as seasonal specials, they will also fill a growler for home consumption which is nice.
11) JJ Harlow’s, Roscommon; this pub is great craic and you never know what beery surprises you’ll find within. Also has an open fire!
12) The Spirit Store, Dundalk; right on the docks, this pub has large live music venue and a more intimate bar where you can take shelter from the coastal weather.
This list is by no means exhaustive but try and check out one or two of them over the festive season, you won’t regret it. Sláinte!
*This piece originally appeared in the December edition of The Taste