It’s been a good start to our sober trip to Dublin. No beer on Ryanair, and just the usual in the Spoons (Windmill) pre-flight.

You’ll know the world is about to end when Mrs RM doesn’t have her Punk IPA at Stansted.  I tried to tell her that it’s not as good now that it’s only in bottle, but to no effect.  The cask range has expanded a bit beyond the recent GK/Adnams/Fullers offer, and this remains the best airport pub in the UK (not a patch on Memmingen mind).

It’s our first trip to Dublin since ’95, when all I remember was the All Ireland Gaelic Football final being everywhere.

We’re staying in Jurys north of the Liffey.  Based on grim experiences in their Bristol and Nottingham hovtels over the years I’m surprised how good this one is. You can even see a Lidl out of the window.

Only five minutes walk to our first contender for GBG18 too;

Folk often complain about the Good Beer Guide as a reference book, suggesting “asking a local” for the best pubs. Doing that randomly in Dublin will get either you a) complete silence from teenage German girls, or b) directions to the Guinness factory.  And the internet brings up lots of old and contradictory guff.  So best to just stare through windows.

The Black Sheep (sorry, no WhatPub link) is the sort of solid two room local you get in Marylebone or Fitzrovia, except for the sea of Galway Bay keg taps, and a plate of donuts on the bar.

Mrs RM was tempted to take the chocolate ones, but having read Simon’s OliveGate post, and knowing donuts cost about 5 euros each in Ireland, we resisted.

This is a cracking pub, perhaps closer in spirit to the Magnet than the Boar’s Head on the Stockport scale, but still feeling like a place for all-comers.  A good pub has music everyone can detest; here we had The Police and China Crisis.  It was packed by 6pm.

The Galway Full Sail was a bit like Gamma Ray, except that it cost about £5 a (nearly) pint, which made Norway seem reasonable. The good food (seafood stew) was equally top quality, top dollar.

Only after I’d paid and set about being nosey did I spot the gorgeous “Cask Corner“(top), apparently not modelled on Doncaster’s finest. A small queue of devotees had formed for the elixir, and I watched carefully to see which was being pulled.

Where **** gets real, apparently

Well, that Trouble Brewing RIPA has a dreadful clip but was otherwise a revelation.  Jaipur IPA would be a comparator, but I rarely find the Thornbridge well kept these days (University Arms apart).  I’d score it NBSS 4, if I was able to.

The only downside with Irish cask is fairly obvious from the photo below, but that’s what happens when folk get their idea of craft from Bethnal Green (jugs) rather than Dulwich (straights).  With Mrs RM at my side, I decanted my half into a proper glass.

More cask, and craft, tomorrow.



  1. “Asking a local” may be the worst travel advice one can give. Random strangers advice regarding pubs is a horrible crap shoot. Bad for restaurants too. One more plug for the GBG. On a side note, you refer to those pastries as a donut. I would call those cupcakes and what you ate on the way to Poland donuts. What is your term for what you ate on the way to Poland? Are both items donuts?


    1. It was your example I was thinking of Dave.

      I shall have to seek further advice on your donuts question.

      On Dublin, it is still possible you could afford a good pint there if you visit.


  2. Glad you’re enjoying it. I don’t know how you managed to get charged £6.20 for Full Sail, though: it costs €5.75 a pint right across the Galway Bay pub estate.

    The football score doesn’t make sense because it’s incorrect: it was 1-10 to 0-12 (ie 13 points against 12). And thanks for bringing it up; we Tyrone supporters *love* being reminded of ’95…

    And please, please please please, desist from calling our country “Eire”. It’s misspelt, it’s grammatically incorrect and it’s downright weird to start using another language in the middle of an English sentence, like saying “Deutschland” instead of Germany. The country is called “Ireland” and the adjective is “Irish”.

    Personally, I think there are worse things wrong with Irish cask beer than Galway Bay’s dimple affectation. Try The Porterhouse, The Palace and JW Sweetman for a straighter glass.


    1. I’ve edited the title – no offence intended.

      Have changed the price as well, think the 6 euros one was the (equally good) Porter.

      Wiki shows the score from’95 as follows, thanks for clarification.

      1-10 – 0-12

      And you’d have to read all my posts to understand the dimple thing ! I’ sure the Black Sheep would have given me a straight if I’d asked.

      Appreciate the quick feedback and have those three in mind.


      1. So that’s me AND Wikipedia who disagree with the score you’ve written in the post above 😉

        While I think of it, check out Bourke’s on Wexford Street if you get a chance. It’s new and I haven’t been yet, but they seem to be taking their cask offer quite seriously. If O’Hara’s Leann Folláin is on, you’re winning.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Referring to the Republic of Ireland as “Eire” is *almost* as bad as suggesting that Stockport is part of Manchester. But not quite…


  3. Never been to Stansted airport Wetherspoon’s. But, I can wholeheartedly recommend the ‘spoons at Liverpool John Lennon airport. Last time we were (mid 2016) there they had a good range of local cask ales; including Liverpool Craft Brewing and Mad Hatter, from memory. Along with a fridge full of bottles, that some people might call ‘the word that I refuse to use anymore’ beer. Altogether, a very good selection and the cask beer in excellent form. Chatting to the barman, the staff were encouraged to have an input into what they stocked and were being encouraged to extend the range of ‘the word that I refuse to use anymore’ beers.


  4. Last time pubs appeared there in GBG were the 1984-86 editions when all featured solely Dempsey’s Real Ale and Porter. The 85 Guide says it was served in 59 outlets, dropping to 30 the following year before disappearing. Better times now at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sure it was decided as a matter of policy not to include any RoI pubs in the GBG as it is a different country from the UK.


  6. “At last”, pubmeister? We’ve had a regular supply of cask beer from Irish breweries for the last 20 years. I haven’t had a problem getting Irish cask beer in Dublin since I was teenager, which was neither today nor yesterday.

    And yes, it’s a very sensible matter of policy to not have pubs in the Republic in the GBG. The GBG did list Irish breweries until recently, which I took over writing because I got annoyed by the unresearched bollocks the GBG printed every year. My list eventually grew to the point where it became too unwieldy to continue, which was a relief for me at least. CAMRA doesn’t organise in the Republic so there’s no practical way to assess pubs here for GBG inclusion. Pubs with cask beer is a search option on the Beoir Directory and BeoirFinder app: there’s your EBCU-sanctioned alternative.


    1. I assumed Pubmeister was referring to my semi-serious call for a return to the GBG, as that’s where his and I interest lies.

      Agree you can’t actually have entries without a branch to survey pubs, but nothing is impossible.


      1. I knew that there was a cask brewery on the Falklands, recently found out that they have shipped to South Georgia in the past. So there are some potential GBG outlets for somebody to arrange surveys for.


  7. Pubcurmudgeon’s recollection is also mine. I think it was a well intended attempt to promote cask. Surely more choice now than ever though? Would be great if there ever was an Irish Beer Guide but will definitely use the links helpfully provided by The Beer Nut on my next visit.


      1. Things move too fast for a printed guide to be useful IMO. Even BeoirFinder isn’t as up-to-date as it should be because there aren’t enough contributors. Best bet is to ask an *informed* local 😀


  8. Just to note, you (should have) paid €5.75 for your pint of Full Sail, which is STG£4.90 at today’s exchange rate, nowhere near £5.50…

    Where else are you planning on visiting? As The Beer Nut mentioned, the Beoirfinder app is well worth installing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Noted and I’ve edited that price, which frankly is getting close to London prices. A year ago at 1.40 euro to the pound it would have been Manchester prices !

      I’ve nothing but praise for the Trouble Brewing; had their beer in Porterhouse and Bourkes (5 euros for stout), all very good. I rate having a single handpump on as a strength too.

      Liked by 1 person

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