By Ted Bauer
Originally appeared in October 2015 issue of Virtuoso Traveler
Dublin has a population of only 527,000 – but around 1,000 watering holes. Guinness calls the city home, but since the mid-1990s its beer culture has expanded from a focus on lagers and stouts to a broader, often craft-infused palette. Ireland as a whole has the sixth-largest beer consumption of any country (read: the Irish know what they’re doing). Try these places to hoist a pint.
The Pub Crawl
Stop 1: Guinness Storehouse
Though a bit of a hike from the city center (take Uber!), the Storehouse is a necessary stop. Get a shamrock in your foam and learn why 119.5 seconds is the perfect pour time for a Guinness. (St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8)
Stop 2: The Brazen Head
One of Ireland’s oldest pubs – founded in 1198 – has live music almost every night. Literary giants James Joyce and Jonathan Swift bent their elbows here. (20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin 8)
Stop 3: L. Mulligan Grocer
Once a grocery store, this is now one of the best places in Dublin to drink craft beer (don’t try to order a Guinness here); the rear section serves some excellent food, including slow-roasted pork belly. (18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7)
Stop 4: Matt the Thresher
“This classic Irish pub, known for its fresh seafood, is one of my favorites,” says Atlanta-based Virtuoso travel advisor and Ireland specialist Linda Terrill. (32 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2)
Stop 5: O’Donoghue’s
Famed folk band The Dubliners got its start here, and while the pub can get crowded, it’s a great place to witness the intersection of music and beer. Each night a group of musicians plays in the front room, working fiddles, whistles, and pipes. (15 Merrion Row, Dublin)
Stop 6: The Cellar Bar
Located in the city center at The Merrion hotel, this pub is just a short walk from O’Donoghue’s. “Late-night drinks here are a perfect way to top off the evening,” says Terrill. “They sometimes have live music too – traditional Irish, of course.” (Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2)
You Need To Eat Too (Please Eat)
“Ireland’s food used to have a reputation for being bland and one-dimensional,” says Terrill, “but now the country has some of the best dairy, beef, and lamb in the world. Salmon in Ireland is delectable, and be sure to order grilled or sautéed plaice if it’s on the menu. The days of greasy fish-and-chips and stews are over.”
... And You Need To Sleep As Well
A private art collection, ESPA spa treatments, and Michelin-starred food help make the 142-room Merrion
hotel a worthy base for any pub crawl. Doubles from $395; Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and, for those staying in select rooms, two cocktails and two appetizers at The Cellar Bar.
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