Working in one of Europe’s foremost cafes, 3FE, Yann Chalmers may be a coffee cognoscenti by trade but moonlights as a craft beer and cocktail fan. Here he chooses his four favourite spots across the city for an alternative pub experience.
There will always be some for whom a pint of the black stuff and a pack of scampi fries represents the quintessential Irish pub experience. However, Dublin is increasingly expanding its horizons with a wealth of bars and pubs that eschew the creamy heads of yore in favour of an ever-increasing range of forward thinking drinks, from country ales to international spirits with a kick. If you’re less concerned with Irish trad sessions and keen to spend your money on drinks with a story, you could do worse than settling in for a night at any of these establishments.
L Mulligan Grocer
L. Mulligan Grocer is basically your one-stop shop in Stoneybatter. Almost single-handedly reviving the tarnished name of the Gastropub, the folks here live and breathe Irish produce. The casks are regularly stocked with local Irish brews and the suppliers that provide their seasonal food for the exciting menu are the best this island has to offer. They’ve recently ramped up the grocer section of their output, so you can now take home their bread, coffee and even some beer from the taps in their own L Mulligan Growlers. It’s worth noting that this lot are also responsible for the fantastic Brown Paper Bag Project, with a range of beers well worth picking up while you’re there.
J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery boasts the only pub in Dublin with a micro-brewery inside the premises. If you’ve ever been concerned about the origins of your favourite libation, why not take matters into your own hands and drink straight from the source. In fact, at J .W. Sweetman you’re encouraged to sample all their wares on a handy tasting flight and make an informed choice. However, if you need more than one round of decision-making, no one would blame you with all beer styles checked off, from Pale Ale to Porter and everything in between.
Part of Capel Street’s colourful line-up, the Black Sheep is the most charming incarnation of the Galway Bay Brewing family. With an impressive range of international beers on top of the Irish stalwarts and upstarts, what makes the Black Sheep really stand out is the cosy yet spacious interior that doesn’t lead to crowding like its Dublin counterparts. For the night that’s in it, they also frequently host various events from comedians and musicians to special tastings. If you’re looking to justify these varied tipples with a show this is the right place to pitch up.
Just over the Liffey from the Black Sheep and you find yourself in the Deep South, with Bison Bar & BBQ : a saloon bar emblazoned with game that sits below the Workman’s Club. Whiskey is the name of the game here, with over 150 bottles to choose from. The selection spans the well-known to emerging producers such as Japanese distillers Nikka. If you’re feeling peckish why not indulge in the 13 hour slow cooked briskets and pulled pork that represent the jewel in Bison’s crown.