The rocky Aran Islands – renowned for hardy fishermen – brought us those intricately patterned fishermen’s sweaters. You know – the ones that easily soak up spilled stout.
This part of the country is also known for unique cuisine and – in the lovely town of Galway itself – an exploding beer culture with fun, friendly pubs.
I’m particularly looking forward to the Galway Bay Brewery, home to some of the more experimental styles that have cropped up in Ireland.
Meanwhile, read on for more on the beer scene in Galway, Ireland, and take a look at 10 Irish dishes you’ve gotta try before you die.
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This small, very walkable town is known for outstanding food
- The Cliffs of Moher
- Ferry ride across the River Shannon
- Aran Islands
- Dun Aengus prehistoric cliff-top fortress.
- The streets of Galway
Brewery Tour – Galway Bay Brewery
When the owners of Oslo Bar (below) opened, their plan was to build a big beer menu with lots of craft brews. Only problem: In 2009, there were very few Irish craft breweries. So, they decided to start brewing their own.
Today, they’ve moved into a larger facility and distribute across the country. Like other new craft breweries across Ireland, this one’s not afraid to experiment with off-beat styles. How’s a Black Berliner Weisse sound? Its Foam of Fury – a double IPA! – was voted the beer of the year by Beoir, the Irish beer advocacy group.
- Oslo Bar – Just off the promenade facing the bar, it features house beers from trend-setting Galway Bay Brewery.
- Bierhaus – Located on Galway’s West End, the 20-tap pub features craft beer from around the world, including Ireland’s Eight Degrees, Galway Hooker, Kinnegar and Dungarvan.
- An Pucan – Great food and Irish craft beer in a traditional setting.
- The Beer Market – Another Galway Bay-owned spot, this one serves only craft beer – no spirits, no wine, no crap. This is where you’ll find the brewery’s one-offs.
- The Roadside Tavern – We’ll stop in for a popat this top-rated gastropub during our motorcoach travels.
- Buried at Sea – A decadent chocolate milk stout from Galway Bay Brewery.
- Dark Arts – An easy-drinking stout from Trouble Brewing.
- Connamara Barrel-Aged Barlewyine – A strong, hoppy ale aged in a bourbon barrel from Independent Brewing.
10 Irish Dishes to Eat Before You Die
- Authentic Irish Stew. It’s made with lamb, and sometimes Guinness Stout.
- Black Pudding. It’s sausage cooked with pig’s blood and more. C’mon, don’t be a scaredy cat; you eat scrapple, don’t ya?
- Boxty. A traditional potato pancake made with baking soda and buttermilk. Perfect for soaking up all that beer.
- Clare Island Salmon. A variety of organic Atlantic salmon from Ireland’s southwest that’s known around the world as among the finest.
- Colcannon. Mashed potatoes and kale. That’s right, it’s health food
- Dublin Lawyer. It’s lobster cooked in whiskey and cream. Seems like it ought to be served at the Bar.
- Dulse. Yuck, it’s a type of seaweed. No, it’s snack food!
- Pastie. It’s a pie made with pork, onions and potatoes. You thought I was talking about those things the girls wear at the strip club?
- Raw Milk Cheese. Made without preservatives for a full, complex flavor. It’s the cask ale of the cheese world!
- Ulster Fry. Also known as “full breakfast,” it’s fried eggs with everything, eaten any time during the day. Sounds like a hangover remedy.