Going to Ireland for a beer and finding more than just Guinness

If there is a motherland for American beer drinkers, it is Ireland.

True, our brewing heritage might reach back to Germany or England, and we seem to have a soft spot for Belgium. But our drinking chops come straight from Dublin, and if you don’t believe me, get off your butt on St. Patrick’s Day Thursday, the national holiday of beer lovers, and go dancing with the leprechauns.

Black stout in a pint glass and the Pogues on the jukebox — the ...

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Coal country brews: A new beer trail in central Penna.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no better way to discover a new town than from a bar stool, and that was never better illustrated than my trek last weekend to north-central Pennsylvania.

This big-city boy has lived in Philadelphia nearly his entire life, never bothering to venture a mere two hours to the small towns that cling to the Susquehanna River and its western branch. Places like Berwick, Shamokin, and Mifflinburg.

But offer me a beer and, well . . .

That’s ...

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Join Joe Sixpack for Beer & Whiskey in Ireland: Focus on Galway

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.

Why don’t ...

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Let’s do Ireland: Focus on Dingle

Somewhere along a remote, wind-swept coastal road, according to this description the Globe and Mail, we’re going to make our way to the two-room brewhouse of where brewers Adrienne Heslin and Paul O’Loingsigh (above) use well water that is “fresh and limey and perfect for dark beers.”

We’ll poke around, we’ll talk beer, and then we’ll drink a porter that, writer Bent Archer once described, “was to Guinness what Guinness is to Bud.”

That is high praise, and it is exactly why ...

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Join Joe Sixpack in Ireland: Focus on Killarney

Beer freaks (myself included) are often accused of the single-minded of that next glass of great suds, our focus firmly on the bottom of the glass.

Somehow I think that’s gonna change as we head to the Atlantic coast of Ireland. The soaring cliffs made famous in great films from The Quiet Man (above) to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Why don’t you join me? Our excursion departs in October 2016 – book now!

Meanwhile, read on for more on the beer ...

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Joe Sixpack’s upcoming trek to Ireland: Focus on Cork

Part of the fun of beer travel is just getting there, which is another way of saying we’ll be packing plenty of brews as we make our way across Ireland.

After three days in Dublin, we’ll travel southwest through County Kildare toward Cork. Along the way, we’ll be hitting several attractions and, of course, a brewery or two. Expect plenty of beer talk, a bottle share and more.

Why don’t you join me? Our excursion departs in October 2016 – book ...

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Join Joe Sixpack in Dublin in October 2016

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.

joe sixpack in ireland 2But that is changing as Ireland has seen an explosive growth in craft breweries in the past five years. My beer-focused excursion is your ...

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Join Joe Sixpack in Ireland in 2016


It wasn’t so long ago that beer in Ireland meant little more than Guinness, Smithwick’s and more Guinness. But in the past 3 years, the Emerald Isle has seen an explosion of new, small craft breweries.

Join Joe Sixpack on a motorcoach tour of some of Ireland’s up-and-coming breweries: Eight Degrees, Franciscan Well, Galway Bay and more.

Plus: We’ll visit distilleries and enjoy a bracing dram or two of Irish whiskey. And, yes, because this is Ireland, we’ll ...

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Christmas Markets & Beer – Only 5 cabins left

A river cruise on the Danube with Joe Sixpack – Dec. 14-21, 2015

Hosted by internationally recognized and award-winning Beer Reporter Joe Sixpack, this once-in-a-lifetime river cruise sets sail for 7 nights from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary, with an optional two-night visit to Prague.

410_AmaPrima_Aerial_Passau_LandscapeAs with all AmaWaterways cruises your excursions are included as well as beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch ...

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