“Top O The Morning To Ya” (the Irish hate that and never actually say it). Ireland is our next new country, famous for Stout, Sweet Molly Malone, Riverdance, The Craic, The Blarney Stone and being Green.
Ireland has 138 active breweries and 28 closed according to the RateBeer database. Surprisingly (to me anyway), the brewery with the most beers registered is Galway Bay, with our friends at St James’s Gate being pushed into third place by Dot Brew, who are classed as a ‘Client Brewer’. @culchiem has 125 of those breweries to his name and he also leads the way beer rating wise too, on 1798, over 1,000 more than the second placed @Beersiveknown.
114 rates would see you join the countries leader board, with a lot less required to appear on any of the 26 counties that Ireland is divided by. If Place Reviewing is your thing then Ireland is a great country to drink in, although you’d never know it on RateBeer. The person with the most reviews is @beerfest5 with 50 followed by @Beersiveknown and everybody’s ‘old friend’ @Travlr.
Draught Guinness is the second most rated beer on this website (5111 rates), only being beaten by Rochefort 10 (5135 rates).
Over to you now; let’s see your Irish tales and stats.
Busy with work right now but will try and come back later to add more detal.
Always made an effort with Ireland … as mum is Irish so have visited many times.
I’m the only non Irish or resident of Ireland/Northern (at some point) to make the top 10 raters and am a good 100 rates ahead of anyone else in that category.
Have 55 rates from Ireland, my top is Killahora Orchards Rare Apple Ice Wine 2017 at 4.2
Have only been to Ireland the once to visit Dublin for an enjoyable short holiday in pre-rate beer days, which included drinking in various pubs around the town.
There are 21 active cideries in Ireland, and rather unsurprisingly the most ciders listed is by Magners / Bulmers Irish Cider (C&C Group)
The top 5 for Ireland cider and cidery ratings is:
My Ireland rates haven’t been so great really, although I have tried to make a concerted effort over the last couple of years which has at least gotten Ireland into the top 10 countries. 37 rates and 9 out of 26 counties represented, so still loads of work to do.
The top beers are dominated by a macro, which is a bit surprising/disappointing but it is what it is:
No place rates either. I was last in Dublin in 1997, and at that stage I doubt I strayed from Bushmills in Temple Street tourist bars. I’d like to go back and have been planning to do go but I could say this about most of these countries/regions. Hopefully one day not too far from now!
#11 on my top rated countries with 67 ratings, which is less than I expected. It’s the least of any country I have been to other than some Caribbean Islands / Mexico. As I think I’ve said before, I expect that’s a commentary on how much the craft beer scene has improved since 2009! Ranked #22 country by average rating.
Top rated Beers
Porterhouse Celebration Stout
O Brother Hope And Love
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
Porterhouse Plain Porter
(The top two were actually rated in Canada.)
Most Rated Breweries
St. James’s Gate Brewery (Diageo Ireland)
Porterhouse Brew Co.
Franciscan Well Brewery
I rated 11 places in 3 Counties - Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny
Visited Galway, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary but apparently didn’t feel any places warranted adding to the database at the time.
Took a train through Roscommon and Westmeath
- Spent a night in Ennistymon partly because it’s referenced in the book Round Ireland With a Fridge, and to visit nearby Biddy Early brewing. As we were checking into our B&B the host informed us that the brewery had gone out of business a week or two earlier!
- It was also in Ennistymon that we discovered that “a local man” is a means of transport that could be summoned by a bartender to take you home.
- For some reason Mabel and I got immense pleasure from the accent of the automated voice warning when the doors on the buses opened and closed - “The luggage doors are OPPeraaating.” To the point where people would be looking at us because we were laughing so hard. (At a certain point we laughing out ourselves and how silly we were being.)
- Our Limerick accommodations had one of the worst beds I’ve ever slept on. Like laughably bad - I’ve had far superior beds in hostels!
Only been to Ireland twice, Dublin for a day in 2019 (on a cruise) and Cork in 2012. Managed to review 2 places in Dublin and 3 in Cork. I was in Cork to visit the Film Festival as my son had one in it.
Loved both cities, saw Molly Malone, kissed the Blarney Stone and visited the Franciscan Well before it was bought by Molson Coors. I really liked the English Market in Cork and the George’s Street Market in Dublin; maybe I should collect markets rather than bridges!
My 117 rates puts me equal 42nd on Ireland’s leader board (with @anders37). 31 breweries sampled, 1 of which has closed. 2 rates are ciders, no mead or sake though.
Most beers by brewery:
St James’s Gate 21
White Hag 14
Eight Degrees 8
O’Hara (Carlow) 8
I am half-way in the County stakes with beers from 13 out of the 26.
County Dublin 36
County Cork 16
County Sligo 16
County Galway 11
No Irish beer has been scored 4 or more by me.
My totals have been helped by a relative who visits County Mayo when he can, he brings back beers for me, Beer52 have also been instrumental in my ratings.
28 Eire-land rates for me, making it my seventh most rated country.
My top-rated beers are:
White Hag The Dark Druid (Salted Caramel) 4
Eight Degrees Knockmealdown 4
Murphy’s Irish Stout 3.8
I’ve always been quite a fan of Murphy’s; I much prefer it to Guinness.
My rates have come from 11 breweries and 2 cideries - Beer52 has definitely helped out with different breweries, they seem to be quite big on Irish beers. My most rated breweries are St Diageo’s Gate (7) and White Hag (5). I seem to like White Hag - it’s actually my 8th highest rated brewery (5+ rates) from anywhere, at 3.6.
I’ve not been to the Emerald Isle since I’ve been on Ratebeer. However, I had visited three times before I was on the site:
First visit: aged five, don’t remember anything other than being thrown out of my bunk during a particularly rough overnight crossing.
Second visit: in my early twenties to visit a friend who’d just moved back to Dublin. Drank lots, remember very little and sadly have since lost touch with the friend.
Third visit: To Galway for the wedding of another friend to an Irish girl. After the wedding a few of us hired a car and toured our way down the coast to Dingle & then across to Dublin. I have quite a few memories of this one, mainly pub-related:
- In Cashel we witnessed the most surprising end to a pub fight I’ve ever seen. Two groups of lads progressed through shouted insults and shoves to the point where one of them actually threw a chair at another (whilst we crouched ready to run). The one who the chair hit turned round, said “good throw mate!”, then they shook hands, and chatted briefly before returning calmly to their tables.
- The Guinness in the pubs on the west coast was lovely; whilst in the bar on top of the Guinness factory (after the rather dull tour) we had the worst Guinness ever (don’t know what they’d done to it).
- Visiting Inisheer, the island featured in the opening scenes of Father Ted (surreal place, with tiny tiny fields).
- Discovering white pudding, and also chips with curry sauce. In fact, all the food was great, albeit sometimes a little too hearty!
- The great live music in almost every pub we went in, and the respect and appreciation that everyone gave to the musicians (so unlike when you get performers in English pubs).
My favourite bands from Ireland are The Dubliners, Ash and Picturehouse (who for some reason I thought were from New Zealand until I just looked them up!).
I’d definitely love to go back to Ireland - in particular, to explore the south and south west (and get some place ratings and more counties ticked!), but I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance.
how things change… in 2003 I’d had about 150 Irish beers, and that was practically all of them! Think there were under a dozen breweries at the time. As my travels changed from regular trips to Ireland to mainland Europe and beyond I missed the microbrewery/craft boom and now although I’ve probably doubled my tally it’s now a drop in the ocean. Doubt I’ve even had beers from half the breweries…
From '96 to '03 I was there regularly, to the extent I was practically a local in the Porterhouse. For the first couple of years there was only them and Biddy Early I think, then '98 saw Carlow, Messrs Maguire, Franciscan Well and a few others appear, maybe 1 or 2 new breweries a year. I used to make sure I was there for Porterhouse’s All Ireland festival every year, that combined with the landlord of my then local (the Swan With 2 Necks in Brizzle) taking a van of empty casks over a couple of times a year to get beers for fests here enabled me to keep on top of it all. The only brewery I ever bothered inputting on here semi-properly was Dwan https://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/dwan/1089/ - rated all 13 on the site, though I actually had over 30 in total.
Shame you never had any A class
well I missed 43 of them anyway…
My ROI rates come to a grand total of 7 beers, from 5 breweries: 2 each from Diageo (both Guinness stouts) & White Hag, and 1 each from Heinekin (Murphys), Rascals & Whiplash, so 3 of the 26 regions covered - same story for me all over the world, must improve! I’ve visited the Emerald Isle a few times over the years, Dublin mostly but had an enjoyable work trip to Ennis many years ago, lovely little town but as I recall there was not a variety of beer going on. That’s all changed by all accounts and there’s a wealth of good stuff to find, already mentioned Whiplash who seem to pop out some nice looking beers, and I’ll be keeping my eyes out for them, and others
I have rated a total of 128 beers from Ireland, placing me in the Top-35.
I lived in Cork for three months but it was before I became an active rater here in RB…such a pity because i was an active drinker back then, smashing pints of West Cork and Galway beers with my Irish friends, good times.
Have been in Dublin back in 2019 (August) for three days, when I managed to drink 45 Irish beers and visited 6 places and 1 Beer & Grill Festival.
My Top-3 Breweries:
Whiplash - 16 (3.78 average)
Galway Bay - 13 (3.57 average)
O Brother - 9 (3.55 Aveage)
Bierhaus (Cork) is my top-rated venue in the country. I spent many nights there playing cards and drinking Beamish.
I love Ireland and want to come back as soon as posible, ¿“Fidelity Beer Festival 2022”?.
My 9th highest rated country with 46 rates. Spent one beery day in Dublin. Since end of a work trip just me wandering about. Had brews from 13/26 counties. My wife and maybe parents want to do trip to Ireland someday and see more of country since my grandmother is from County Clare and my mom always wanted to see. This thread had me notice a bug in system.
When I click countries visited I can see my 6 rates in Ireland:
But when I click in regions visited - Dublin
Only 4 show up excluding Underdog and Urban Brewing. When I look at those places they are mapped to region so no idea
My only visit to Ireland was when I spent 6 weeks in 1998 driving my late grandads beat up Ford Orion mostly around the coastline clockwise with some ventures in land. Driving back then in Ireland was pretty hap hazard with poor roads & terrible signage, often in the wrong direction!
Plenty of stunning bits of countryside & great scenery. The weather was fine & sunny for the first few weeks, very unusual I was told. Met a Aussie in a Kilkenny hostel that we bonded so well over a weekend of drinking that beautiful red ale that he joined me for a couple of weeks driving & we memorably walked the first few days of the Kerry Way, that nearly killed us in more than one way!
On that Kerry Way slog, up & down countless hills in the pouring rain, we both meet & drank with a Belgium guy who would not stop telling us just how good the beer was in his country and how many there were! I’m still in touch with that Aussie 23 years on & I visited the Belgium guy the next year in Belgium, quite an experience that really got me into loving beer.
I’ve rated 27 beers with the best been -
McGargles Francis’ Big Banging IPA - 4.0
Trouble Speakerbox - 3.8
Whiplash Bone Machine - 3.8
Whiplash Drone Logic - 3.8
Trouble Vietnow - 3.7
Whiplash Horse Power - 3.7
White Hag The Puca Berry Hibicus & Ginger - 3.7
Them 27 beers have a average of 3.36, my 5th highest country average over at least 10 beers
I’ve only rated 8/26 counties, with 13 beers from Co. Dublin
My first visit to Ireland was in 1993 or so, when I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in England and Ryanair was my tool for getting around Europe. Of course Guinness was just about the only beer available, occasionally Murphy’s, but we were happy with that, and the pubs were brilliant.
We rented a car and drove to Cork and for some reason thought it would be a good idea to avoid the motorways and take secondary roads. Before GPS or smart phones. Three minutes in, we came to a T intersection with no signs, so we chose randomly and got hopelessly lost. Fortunately with a pub on pretty much every corner, it was easy to stop and ask for directions, but we felt guilty just plying people for info without having a pint.
The process of mystery T intersections and pub visits plus pints repeated itself enough times that I lost count. A light rain started, and not used to the small winding roads I lost control and skidded off the road and into a ditch, the car landing on its side on top of a large shrubbery, or maybe a hedge row. The car behind us was full of students who tied a rope around our car and pulled us back onto the road, laughing at us the whole time. For reasons that escape me now, we never made it to Cork.
We were a bit nervous returning the rental car (sorry, hire car), now covered with mud and plants, branches and shrubbery bits sticking out of every seam. So we tried dropping the keys off inside the airport terminal and sneaking away. Sadly the young lady at the counter said “Right, we’ll just have a wee look.” She did, and didn’t seem surprised at all at our newly camouflaged vehicle. “Looks fine, thanks!”
My last trip in September 2018 for a long weekend in Dublin was much less eventful, spent visiting a Lithuanian ex-pat chef friends. The craft beer scene had arrived in force, but I was a bit disappointed that the UK’s tied pub concept has metastasized. We spent much of the weekend at The Underdog, what a great place.
Oh, and my stat: my story describes two (2) trips. Cheers!
Wow, that’s a name I haven’t seen on Ratebeer for a long time!
Ireland is my 16th highest rated country with just 60 ratings, which is surprising considering it’s just over there. Like many seeking out craft beer in the early days, Porterhouse Brewery - and their associated bar in Dublin - seemed the only choice beyond Caffreys and Guinness but their IPAs were solid stuff, as were their darker beers.
Yellowbelly I think were the first Irish Craft brewery to grab my attention, followed closely by White Hag and latterly Whiplash who have always been consistently excellent.
My first visit to Ireland was with a girl I was seeing very briefly. Couple of expensive days in the city, went to the Guiness brewery, tried to enjoy a pint of guiness and had a very drunken evening in Temple Bar. Didn’t take many photos but I did take the following outside the guiness brewery
There’s now a popular facebook group and etsy page devoted to Irish graffiti like this.
Tour memories - Usually going to Ireland meant a fleeting visit - into Dublin, out again. However, in Dublin there resides a South African nutcase who tattoos bands for free and I’ve ended up in his tattoo parlour numerous times with bands wanting free tattoos, and in exchange he puts a photo in his album to show new clients. Green Day, Deftones, Shane MacGowan … name a band, they’ve been tattooed by this guy. I took a band there once, and the singer wanted a letter ‘M’ (initial of a previous girlfriend) on his arm turned into a love heart. And the words ‘Bad Boy’ above. Tattooist refused, so I did it. At 2am, a bit worse for wear. Still occasionally see the tattoo in live photos and have a chuckle.
Havent explored past Dublin and Cork (pronounced Cark by the locals), will return properly one day.
Top Ten ratings:
It’s just about the stats for me with Ireland as my only visit consisted of just the Guinness unfortunately and a vow to never return.
Ireland is my 12th highest country in terms of ratings with 116, squeezing me in at equal 44th place, having only got over the 100 Dark Blue block this year. I have rated beers from 30 Breweries, my most coming from –
- St. James Gate Brewery – 19
- White Hag – 11
- Whiplash – 10
The highest rated beers are –
- Metalman Pale Ale – 4.1
- Galway Bay Of Foam and Fury IPA – 4.0
- Dwans An Dubhain Extra Stout – 3.9
- Whiplash Body Riddle – 3.9
- O Brother Ominous – 3.9
No place reviews. However I may break my non return pact one day, looks like the scene is much improved.
out of interest why the vow to never return? presumably not just the lack of decent beer?
Only country I’ve ever written off was Romania, but went back a few years later and several times since