If you’ve decided to try lots of different beers in a list like I have, I recommend a visit to Cork. It’s a great place with so much life. All the pubs seem to be very individual, no chains, and they all have their own character.
There is of course the traditional Irish music bars, we went to one called Canty’s
It had an excellent atmosphere, Michelle and Heather danced the night away to some Dylanesque geezer that put on a great show.
There is modern places like Soho http://www.soho.ie/ that are right up there with anything in London for their forward thinking and stylised approach to modern hospitality.
There is also a great little rock bar called Preachers.
Complete with walls adorned with memorabilia from the early 90’s and drum kits for lampshades this is a cool little bar especially for a middle aged indie kid like me.
My favourite place though was called Rising Sons. This microbrewery come taphouse is what I imagine similar to those popping up all across the USA in the craft beer revolution that is in full swing at the moment.
It was very cool. All the fermenting tanks and tuns are on display, working away behind the bar. You can’t get fresher beer. Then on the other side of the room they make their own pizza which they sell as a very reasonable deal of 10 euros for a pizza and a beer.
So Cork is a bit of a pub paradise, we went to so many in the couple of days we were there but we felt there was so, so many more.
But to the beers, which was the main reason we were there.
We started at a bar called Thomond’s which was a pretty run of the mill, touristy sports bar, but it sold Murphy’s Irish Stout.
Murphy’s is from Cork so it didn’t take long to track it down in its hometown. It has a nice thick creamy head and a smooth, liquorice taste. It’s a very drinkable session stout that stretches back to 1856. I prefer it to it’s bigger rival Guinness, just like I prefer Cork to the bigger Dublin.
After a ridiculously big pub crawl we went out on the Tuesday to a pub called The Porterhouse as I knew they made a couple of beers I need for my list.
The Porterhouse itself was an excellent pub, mainly due to the fact it was connected to another bar and bowling alley so it had a great rooftop communal area with a retractable roof. It was a smoking area but it felt like you were still indoors. Unfortunately I didn’t like their Oyster Stout as much as their bar. It had a weird taste, which I presume is created by the oysters but I thought it tasted more like stinging nettles. I found it had a strange sweet then bitter taste, maybe a little too gourmet for my palate.
The bar had a great selection of other beers from around the world including maybe my favourite I have found on my journey so far….
Brooklyn Local 1 is an incredible beer. Served in a Champagne type bottle but this is for a reason not novelty. This beer is refermented in the bottle just like Methode Champenoise which brings an amazing effervescence. It was beautiful, so smooth it tasted inbetween a lager and an ale. There was no aftertaste, it was very fizzy and very pleasant. My favourite beer of the journey so far!
After that treat I tried a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA. This was another good beer. Very floral due to dry hopping this had a lot of flavour. It had a great tang and there was lots of fruit.
Finally in this gem of a bar I got a Fruh Kolsch.
Kolsch is a style of beer from Cologne. It is top fermented like Lager but it is warm fermented like Ale. This example was first brewed in 1904 but I wasn’t over impressed. In fact I thought it tasted like cheap Sainsbury’s value lager but maybe that was just due to the heavyweight competition it was up against that evening.
So that was Cork, I would highly recommend anyone taking a visit here, mainly just for the variety of pubs. I didn’t have that many beers from my list there, though I am sure they are all there somewhere, and I didn’t make a visit to the bierhaus which is pretty ridiculous seeing as they have the greatest stock of beers I had ever seen on my previous visit. I did have one last little bonus though. Feeling a little disappointed I had missed out on a few Irish beers, I found a great result at the airport just before I stepped on the plane home.
2 of my beers in a 3 pack! What a great way to end the holiday! I’ll let you know how they were next time.