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Archive for the ‘What to do in a Pub! (Including the Obvious)’ Category

Just One of Ireland’s Finest Brews

From your dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” — Oscar Wilde

Irish Breweries – from Guinness to Beamish & Beyond

Irish brews consist of more than Guinness, and there are enough flavors to please any fan of breweries and beers.  For you who brew their beer at home, you might even get a few tips and other ideas about ingredients. Below are a few of our favorites.  And of course, Guinness may be at the bottom of this list, but it is close to the top of our personal list!

If you decide to visit a brewery, make sure you call ahead.  Hours change, depending upon season and brew capacity.

  • Acton’s Country Pub and Microbrewery The Brooklodge Hotel, Macreddin, County Wicklow Tel: 0402-36444 www.brooklodge.com
  • Beamish & Crawford Brewery Founded in 1792, Beamish and Crawford produces 574,000 hl of beer per year.  South Main Street, the city of Cork Tel:  021-4911100 www.beamish.ieBeamish Irish Stout  4.1% alc.    Stout, but paler than Guinness or Murphy’s.  Close to a porter. 4.2% alc.  Irish ale, Beamish Red Irish  Ale  4.2% alc.    Pale lager, Miller Genuine Draft.  In his book,  Noted Breweries of Great Britain & Ireland published in 1889, Alfred Barnard Wrote:

“The business of Beamish & Crawford in Cork is a very old one dating as far back as the        seventeenth century and it is said to be the most  ancient porter brewery in Ireland.”

The home of the brewery at South Main Street, lies in the heart of what was the medieval city. Originally one of the old city gates nearby  as did the Cork jail. Indeed a stone from the jail, upon which the severed heads of the executed used to be displayed, now stands outside the counting house door at the brewery. The huge lock on the door also came from the jail.

The business partnership prospered and within fifteen years output at Beamish & Crawford had grown from 12,000 barrels per year to a phenomenal 100,000 barrels in 1805, making it the largest brewery in the country and the third largest in Britain and Ireland.”

Today, Beamish & Crawford is owned by Scottish & Newcastle.  (By the way, the stone of severed heads is long gone.  Sorry.)

  • Biddy Early Brewery Founded in 1995 with an annual production of 850 hl. Biddy Early Brewery is a brewpub, and County Clare is thought by many of us at Authentic Ireland to be the best area in Ireland.  (Of course, we are raised here and our offices are here, but we are not one bit prejudiced in passing along the praises of County Clare.)  Iangh, County Clare 353-65-683-6742    http://www.beb.ie/

Brews you’ll find at Biddy Early: Black Biddy: 4.2% Stout.  Brewed from British hops, pale ale malt, Roasted barley and crystal malt.  It is  fined with carrageen moss. Blonde Biddy: 4.2%  A pale lager.  Brewed from lager malt and German Hallertu hops.  Bottom fermented Red Biddy: 4.9% Red Irish ale.  Brewed from pale ale, chocolate & Crystal malts, and bog myrtle. Real Biddy 4.9% Red Irish ale, this is a cask-conditioned version Of Red Biddy.

  • The Carlow Brewing Company Founded in 1998, this is a microbrewery next to the railway station in Carlow town.
  • The Goods Store,” Station Road, Carlow County Carlow Tel:  353-503-34356 www.carlowbrewingcompany.com  Brews your’ll find at Carlow Brewing: O’hara’s Celtic Stout  4.3% Stout Curum Gold Celtic Wheat Beer   4.3% Wheat beer. Cascade, Challenger, and Mount Hood hops, with the ingredients of pale malt, torrified wheat & caramalt. Molings Traditional   4.3% Irish ale; brewed from pale malt, crystal Red Ale malt and roasted barley. Beerkeeper Gold  4.3% Wheat beer, brewed for the Beerkeeper in Dundalk.
  • The Celtic Brewing Co. This is a microbrewery.  After you’ve taken in the intense scenery and the haunting scent of early Irish history in County Meath, this may be just the stop for you. Enfield Industrial Estate, Enfield, County Meath Tel:  (0405) 41558 Founded in 1997 , Types of Brews Available: Finnians Red  4.3% Irish ale Finnians Organic Lager  4.3% Pale lager Finnians Stout  4.3% Stout Shiva Premiuim Lager    5% Pale lager
  • The Franciscan Well Brewery: If you’ve settled into Cork after an adventure at the Blarney Stone, just the smell of a Franciscan Well can take bring you back to reality.  Music on Monday nights, plenty of activities, festivities and festivals.  A nice place after you’ve spent the day wandering the gardens of Blarney.  Founded in 1998, their annual production is 2,500 hl.  All around a good place to visit and relax for an evening in Cork with excellent brews.  14 North Mall Cork, County Cork Tel:  (021) 210130.

Types of Brews Available: Shandon Stout  4.2% Stout Blarney Blonde  4.2% Blonde ale Rebel Lager  4.3% Pale lager Rebel Red Ale 4.3% Irish ale Purgatory 4.5%  Pale ale, American style, hopped with Cascades Friar Weisse 4.7% Unfiltered pale wheat beer.  Bellringer Winter Warmer 6.0% Strong ale that’s malty and hoppy.

  • Galway Hooker Founded in 2006, this is a microbrewery that sells their beer in ten pubs in Galway.   The beer is worth a trip in itself, and finding something from the brewery to take home as a souvenir is a double bonus. You can hardly beat the name of this ale, and who back home will know a Galway Hooker is a ship?  Galway, County Galway www.nameyourbeer.net
  • Great Northern Brewery The Great Northern Brewery was founded in 1897, and produces 1,000,000 hl of beer annually.  It is now owned by Guinness, who bought them in 1959 to brew their lager.  Carrick Road Dundalk, County Louth Tel:  042-34793

Type of Brews Available: Harp lager  3.6% Pale lager Harp Export 4.5% Pale Lager And, last but not least, the brew that keeps putting  Ireland on the map, particularly on St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Arthur Guinness Son & Co. The most well-know brew in Ireland, Guinness was founded in 1749.  In the year 2003, their production was 4,000,000 hl per year.   After moving all brewing facilities to Dublin from London, it is expected that their production will be 6,000,000 hl per year.
  • Guinness Ale Saint James’s Gate, Dublin 8 www.guinness.com

Types of Brews Available: Draught Guinness 4.1% A stout, served by mixed-gas pressure. Filtered, pasteurized and served cold. A bitter    finish with licorice, toffee and cream aromas.  Guinness Original 4.2%  Stout.  Bottled Guinness—not as good as the draught beer, but what beer is? Same flavors without as much zest. Guinness Extra Stout 4.3%  Stout. Bottle-conditioned. Still available in Ireland. A classic — worth going to Ireland to drink!  It has an intense burnt bitterness, balanced with a sour cream undertone. A truly wonderful beer.

If you’re on a self-drive tour of Ireland, please be sure not to drink and drive.  It’s not tolerated in Ireland any more than it is in the States or the UK.  (Plus, some of our roads could make a tipsy drive particularly difficult.)  Either end your day near a brew pub so you can walk back to one of the lovely places on your itinerary, or use a chauffeured tour for part of your travels if you expect to indulge heartily in some of Ireland’s finest!

Enjoy to the fullest, and be safe while you’re at it.

Happiest of New Year’s to You —  The Crew at Authentic Ireland

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 What Better Place is there to celebrate your Romance than in Ireland?

Romantic couple on Irish hillside

Imagine the welcoming fire of a 17th century Manor House  in Ireland inviting you into your suite. It’s the perfect atmosphere to reconnect, to unwind, and to enjoy each other.

If you can motivate yourselves to be around other people, take a side trip to the awesome Cliffs of Moher.  For your next stop we’d suggest an elegant castle built in 1590.  Just closeby, it’s the perfect retreat.  Cuddle up and explore the gardens, or amble over to legendary Killarney.  Wrap up your magnificent castle lodging at the library bar.  It is the ultimate kiss.

Dingle is one of Ireland’s best-loved towns, and we’re particularly fond of the Presidential Suite, one of the finest lodgings in Kerry. Dingle’s glorious bay, lovely shops and a world of music… Dingle’s hotel spa and gourmet restaurant are yours for the asking.   Finally, we’d suggest you indulge in each other’s company in charming Adare, and why not make it a Conde Nast Choice Manor House?  840 acres of rolling parkland and gardens will surround you with peace and beauty.

Sometimes the world spins so quickly, and we lose each other.  Our cure?  Surrender, and let Ireland stoke the flames.

featured writers, Meredith and Win Blevins.

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We’re sure you’ve entered to win the trip to Dublin during St. Patrick’s Day.  Should you win, or should you just decide to go, here we offer you the seven best places to kiss in Dublin.

1) Dublin Castle:  Kiss right in St. Patrick’s Hall.  There’s a kindly looking statue of Patrick here, and he won’t mind one bit.

2) Dublin castle was commissioned by King John in the 13th century and is a symbol of Irish independence.  It was handed back to Michael Collins in 1922.  Nothing more passionate than a revolutionary.  Go for it!

3)  St. Patrick’s Cathedral:  Climb on up into the skewey Minto Tower.  Wow!

4)  Guinness:  The tasting room.  Smooch before, during, and after you pint.  (Free!  One of our favorite prices!)

5)  The Dublin Zoo:  Here you are transported to India–enjoy those Indian elephants.  Known for a smile and a sense of fun, they will surely enjoy watching a playful peck on the cheek.  The giraffes are good with it, too!

6)  The Brazen Head Pub:  In the heart of Viking Dublin, this is the oldest pub in Dublin.  There has been a tavern on this spot since 1172.  Oh, if the walls could talk… But they won’t!

7)  Back at the hotel we’ve reserved for you for St. Paddy’s Day…  After several days of celebration, and more to come, what else could you want than a warm fire, a sumptuous room, and your sweetheart’s company?

We suggest you follow this link:  http://www.authenticireland.com/html/contest2011.php  and enter to win.  Where better to be in Dublin, St. Patrick’s Day 2012, and (again, our favorite price) for free!  Anyone can win.  Enjoy!

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Spending autumn in Ireland is a riotous gift of color

There is a scent in the air particularly Irish.  Special, unhurried, and mixed with the warmth of a peat fire.

There are the quiet words you hear of Irish poets and writers.  Joyce, Yeats, Wilde–their voices fall peacefully, sometimes raucously, from swirling red leafed trees sheltering deer.

The Irish pubs that are filled with music take on a different feel, softer and more textured.  And, the roads to those pubs often belong to you when autumn comes takes over nature’s gate.

Consider experiencing Autumn in Ireland.  Consider the air, the festivals, the time to be at peace and the time to be part of it all.  Visiting Ireland in the autumn is a natural combination.

This year give yourself the gift of an unforgettable Irish autumn.

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A brazen thief has now become the party king!  (We assume.)  Someone with a lot of gumption and little worries, stole more than 450 kegs–that equals about 40,000 bottles–of Guinness from the main factory in Dublin.   

My Goodness, Where's my Guinness?

 The tippling crook simply backed his truck into the yard at the St. James Gate facility.  He filled a trailer with Guinness and drove off.  (We suspect that any guards present must have been sampling the brew, because no one tried to stop him.) 

The trailer, minus all the Guinness, was later discovered tucked into the countryside.  The crook has not been caught.  Our suggestion to the police?  Look for the person who has the largest number of new friends in Ireland.

Sliante!  The crew at authenticireland.com

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