Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beer Tasting at Beerhouse Dublin

Later on that first rugby Saturday, we had a "date" with an Irish craft beer tasting at Beerhouse on Dublin's north side.

Can't Beat Free

Beerhouse was celebrating a craft brew long weekend, with tastings and visits from Irish microbreweries and free (yes, free!) hot dogs each evening.  We were bound and determined to get there as soon as the tastings started that Saturday, and we were not disappointed.

The first brewery offering a taste was The 5 Lamps brewery, based in Dublin.  How lucky we were to meet the great staff and taste the great beers of this, Dublin's only microbrewery.  They take their name from a Dublin landmark, the five lamps, a famous lamppost in The Liberties, an area of Dublin that used to be home to dozens of breweries- all of which are closed except The 5 Lamps and another you many know... Guinness.

Their brew lineup is a lager, a pale ale, a red ale, and a porter.  We, of course, had to taste them all- and loved them all.  One of the goals of the 5 Lamps team was to create beers that are accessible to the mainstream beer drinker.  As such, their pale ale was hoppy without the mouth-puckering bitter green punch and sneakily high alcohol level of many other micro pales.  Similar story with the rest of the line, no-nonsense, balanced, reasonable, accessible.  The crew was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their product, and when I expressed interest in their process, they invited me to stop by the brewery to see their operation!  Stay tuned to this space for that post soon.

Five Lamps, Hot Dogs, and a Roaring Fire at Beerhouse in Dublin, Ireland
Five Lamps, Hot Dogs, and a Roaring Fire

After the tasting and chat with the brew team, we ordered a pint of porter and pint of the red ale to enjoy with our *free* hot dogs.  Ever go seven or eight months without eating a real hot dog?  Try it sometime, hot dog loving Americans.  Those hot dogs will be elevated beyond a cheap and easy weeknight snack or ballpark munchie to pure culinary nirvana.

Or you'll just really like it.  Frank, ketchup, yellow mustard, and onions.  Nothing fancy, but just enough to bring a satisfied smile and wordless moan of satisfaction- especially with a great beer.

Beerhouse Background

Beerhouse has a great pub atmosphere.  We hadn't been there before, but we will certainly be back whenever we're in the neighborhood.  Besides the great selection of beers from around Ireland, the pub has a great space and character.  We sat in the back, among the retro-style furniture, large wall murals, and the roaring fire warming the whole back nook.  We hope to return soon and see The 5 Lamps and the rest of the good beers of Ireland on draught in this classic pub.

Beerhouse Menu in Dublin, Ireland
Beerhouse Menu

The Long Trip Home

It had been a long day of exploring, and we had been on our feet for many hours and many miles- leaving out the long(er than we planned) stop at Beerhouse, of course.  We had about four miles to walk home after having walked four (plus) miles getting up and around town earlier.  We began the trip south from Beerhouse with full bellies and mostly clear heads.

Near Trinity College and Grafton Street on the south side of the river, we noticed some white fluffy mounds on the road in front of us.  It looked like they were falling off of passing cars.  Following the line of mounds, we arrived at a popular fountain in this neighborhood- full to overflowing with soap suds.

Fountain Overflowing with Soap Suds
Clearly some prank- someone had dumped a bottle or two of dish soap into the fountain.  The churning pumps would whip that soap into these wonderful fluffy piles within a minute, giving the prankster plenty of time to get away, maybe to return later and witness the chaos.

Oh, college kids and their petty vandalism.  Stay classy.

After a huge day out, we made it home, actually on the early side.  Walking all those miles will really take it out of a person.  To think, when we had a car, we would almost never think of walking downtown and back to something like a beer tasting- even with one person having to be designated driver.

Strange how perspectives and priorities change.

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