The thing about beer in Ireland is that if you don’t drink stout, you are SOL. Wherever you go, you are guaranteed to find Guinness on tap, but if you don’t want to drink Guinness, your options are basically shitty American beers1 or Heineken.
Heineken bought Murphy’s in the 1980s and tried to compete with Guinness, but couldn’t really make a dent, so you can only find Murphy’s in Ireland in the south, near Cork where it is made.
What’s funny to me about that is that you can get Murphy’s at the Irish Times pub in Victoria, BC, but you can’t get it in, say, Dublin.
Despite not being a big fan of stouts, I did have to try a pint while I was in Ireland – specifically while at the Marine Bar in Dungarvan, County Waterford:
And I have to say that it was pretty good – much creamier and smoother than when I’ve had it in Victoria. Also, I had to drink a second pint, because my mom got one but she doesn’t like beer, so I had to finish it for her. Because I’m just that generous of a daughter.
Plus, they put a shamrock in the head!
Also, I did have some Guinness while in Ireland, because I’m pretty sure it is against the law not to3:
And it was, as I had been told, much better in Ireland. Smoother and creamier and less bitter than when you get it here in Canada. So at least there was that.
So, while I was disappointed on the beer front while on the Emerald Isle, fear not my booze-loving friends, for Ireland is also the home of a little thing called “Irish Coffee”.
- i.e., Bud or Coors Light [↩]
- The “Republic of Ireland” being the sovereign state – i.e., the part that is not Northern Ireland. [↩]
- We were going to do the Guinness Brewery tour, in Dublin, but then we heard it cost €16.50 and the tour is self-guided. And none of us like stouts, so the “free” pint of Guinness at the end was not really a draw for us. Instead, I just ordered a half pint at a pub. [↩]