Not long ago, you could say the beer scene in Ireland amounted to Guinness and a few also-rans. Remarkably in a country known for its pub-going population, there were only a dozen breweries nationwide.
But that is changing as Ireland has seen an explosive growth in craft breweries in the past five years. My beer-focused excursion is your chance to see (and taste) one of the most exciting, new beer scenes in the world.
We set off on our 10-day excursion to Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Galway and more on Oct. 15, 2016.
I’ve designed this trip with Go Astro Travel and Britain’s CIE Tours to focus on the newest breweries and innovative leaders in Ireland. Of course we’ll visit Guinness and enjoy plenty of stout. But we’ll also sample new world styles in Ireland’s pubs – the very soul of the country – and enjoy classic local cuisine.
And what would a visit to Ireland be without a dram or two of whiskey? I’ve lined up a pair of unique distillery tours along the way.
Of course, it’s not all about drinking and eating. Our motorcoach excursion will take us through vibrant scenery, from bucolic sheep farms to the soaring cliffs above the Atlantic.
Why don’t you join me? Our excursion departs in October 2016 – book now!
In coming days, I’ll be sharing some of our destination highlights. Today, we start with Dublin.
October 15-24, 2016
Baile Átha Cliath, “Town of the Hurdled Ford”
We start our tour with three nights in Ireland’s largest city, with plenty of time to soak up the local culture and the local beer.
- O’Connell Street shopping
- The Book of Kells at Trinity College
- Glendalough 6th-century monastic ruins
Brewery Tour – Guinness
You can’t talk about Irish beer and not talk about Guinness, once the world’s largest brewery. Founded in 1759, Guinness basically invented stout and – though it is brewed in dozens of breweries around the globe – it is still the benchmark for the style.
We’ll tour the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate, whichwill give us an idea of how this brewery grew and exactly what goes into its beer. We’ll grab a pint, shop for souvenirs and
Distillery Tour – Teeling
Once boasting more than 30 distilleries, Dublin was long the center of Irish whiskey… till the last one closed in the ‘70s. The dry spell ended last summer when Teeling – an old Irish whiskey-making family – got back into the business with this $10 million state-of-the-art facility.
Run by a pair of brothers, the distillery is producing classic Irish whiskey that is already winning awards. I’m hoping to get a taste of its special Revival, from its vintage single malt collection.
- Porterhouse – The focal point of a growing chain of international brewpubs that has expanded all the way to New York is regarded as one of the very best bars in Ireland. More than a dozen house brews served for what may be the longest bar in the city.
- The Brazen Head – You’re not here for craft beer; you’re bellying up to the oldest pub in Ireland because this is where James Joyce used to drink Guinness.
- JW Sweetman – A huge bar with plenty of nooks and crannies serving fresh, inexpensive suds from its own microbrewery.
- Mulligan Grocer – No, it’s not a takeout shop. It’s a unique bar in a former grocery store where locals say the food is the best of any craft beer pub in town. Look for brews from the Brown Paper Bag Project.
- Taylor’s Three Rock Pub – We’ll drop by for dinner and a fun night of traditional Irish music and dancing.
- Porterhouse Plain Porter – You’ll have plenty of Guinness, but don’t miss this superb dry Irish stout.
- Mont – If you’re in the mood for a lager, forget Harp and look for this award-winner from the small Manor Brewery outside of Dublin.
- 12th Abbey IPA – Check out the influence of America’s craft brewing scene on this hoppy (Summit) West Coast-style ale.
Don’t hesitate – book now!