Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sweetman Craft Brewpub

Making Time to Relax

Just on the south side of the famous O'Connell Bridge in Dublin is the J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery Brewpub and restaurant.  We had seen it dozens of times on busy City Centre trips, often saying to each other, "We've gotta get there sometime... when we aren't pressed for time up here!"

That day finally arrived, we had some time and budget flexibility and decided to swing into Sweetman's for some lunch and a beverage.

J.W. Sweetman Brew Pub Dublin, Ireland
J.W. Sweetman Brew Pub

We saw the special on the board outside and really didn't need to see anything else.
"Pulled Pork and a Pint €9.95"
Perfect!  We popped inside, noting the familiar City Centre macro-pub ambience of the place, spacious but not cavernous, and relatively quiet on a Saturday afternoon.  To begin, we did what any self-respecting brewpub visitor would do- we ordered a flight of samples.

A flight of beers by J.W. Sweetman Dublin, Ireland
Sweetman Flight

The Beer

A flight is what we call a collection of small samples of beer.  Most brewpubs and breweries offer these for about the price of one full pint of beer- sometimes just a touch more depending on the size of the samples.  Sweetman brews five signature beers.  Golden Ale is light, fruity, and a bit spicy- spicy like clove and orange peel, not spicy hot.  Pale Ale is a little darker, malty, and hoppy.  Weiss is an unfiltered wheat beer, cloudy and also fruity and spicy.  Their Irish Red Ale is a bit darker than the pale with hints of caramel.  Rounding out the lineup is the Porter, dark and malty with chocolate and coffee flavors.

After our tasty and generous sampler tray, we ordered a pint of Porter and a pint of Red Ale.  The made-in-house beers here are reasonably priced on their own, and the value gets even better when ordered as part of their "Pulled Pork and a Pint" deal.

Sweetman Stout and Red Ale at J.W. Sweetman Dublin, Ireland
Sweetman Stout and Red Ale

That's right, the pulled pork.  It was just a bit dark in our corner of the pub, so forgive the blurry photo.  The pulled pork comes with braised red cabbage, potato crisps (potato chips), and apple sauce.  We got a plate of chips (french fries) to share with the pork.

Yeah, apple sauce on the side.  American applesauce lovers, beware!  Apple sauce here is just that- a sauce.  Don't go into the supermarkets looking for big jars of cheap Musselman's applesauce or individual packs of it to throw in your lunch bag.  Applesauce is served like mint jelly or cranberry sauce- as an accompaniment to meat, particularly pork.  If planning a move across the Atlantic, plan to make your own sweet applesauce.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch and relaxing pint before we had to make our move to the rest of our day.  Good thing we were moving on, because Six Nations rugby was about to start, and excited fans were piling in to watch the game, and we didn't want to boggart the best seats near the television.  We had our own plans for watching Six Nations anyway.

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