Home > Beer, Uncategorized > Irish Beer: The Bull & Castle, Christchurch, Dublin

Irish Beer: The Bull & Castle, Christchurch, Dublin

Beyond The Porterhouse, I had very little idea of where to find craft beer in Dublin. Fortunately Irish beer blogger laureate The Beer Nut was a great help, suggesting over Twitter that I try The Bull & Castle, Against The Grain and L. Mulligan Grocer. Although unfortunately we didn’t make it to the last one, we did visit the first two.

The Bull & Castle is by Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, a short walk from Temple Bar. It has a beer hall upstairs and a restaurant downstairs, both with a comprehensive selection of Irish craft beer. The furniture upstairs has something of a gothic arch theme running through it, reflecting the cathedral over the road.

We sat at the bar upstairs and tried a few of the different beers. Castle Red was an “Irish Red” in the vein of Smithwicks. As such it was relatively sweet and malty and had next to no hoppiness. Franciscan Well Rebel Lager was good enough for a pilsner but that was about all there was to it.

Metalman Pale Ale was more interesting. A new beer from a new brewing company (although actually made at the White Gypsy brewery) it had a fresh citrus bitterness that to me seemed to include a bit of Burton sulphur.

The Bull & Castle is owned by FXB, a chain of steakhouse restaurants around Dublin that use meat from their own farm in County Offally. Kate and I took a table downstairs and both enjoyed really excellent medium rare ribeye steaks with champ and a delicious surf-and-turf side of prawns.

With dinner I had a bottle of O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale by the Carlow Brewing Company, who do a lot of bottled beers and produce the Irish Stout for Marks & Spencer. Their IPA had a nice light flavour and a subtle, slightly floral, oily bitterness.

I’ve made myself incredibly hungry and thirsty just writing this. Many thanks to The Beer Nut for the tip-off. Based on our experience, I’d definitely recommend the Bull & Castle to anyone visiting Dublin for a winning combination of craft Irish beer and good eats.

  1. April 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed it.

    Funny, I’d never thought of the gothic gewgaws of the B&C being related to the cathedral. I’d always taken it to be a generic castle theme, most of them dating back to when it was a dodgy boozer called The Castle Inn. The new management got rid of most of the old clientele by simply taking off the Bud tap.

    • April 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      Ah, that might well be the case.

      I used to work in a bar with a Bud tap once in Northern Ireland. It was a relative novelty at the time and people tended to be put off by how very pale and anaemic it looked, given that even Bud fans were only used to drinking it out of the bottle.

  2. Olivier T
    April 10, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    You can also try the Ginger Man, between Trinity College and Merrion Square. They have all Franciscan Well beers on tap.

    • April 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

      They only have Rebel Lager, Rebel (aka Castle) Red and Friar Weisse. Handy if you’re in the area but not worth leaving the Bull & Castle for.

    • April 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      I did walk past it and made a note to come back later at some point after seeing the Franciscan Well kegs outside. Is it any relation to The Ginger Man in NY and Texas, or are they just similarly named after the JP Donleavy book?

      • April 12, 2011 at 9:29 am

        It’s just the Donleavy connection. As far as I know the landlord also owns the Franciscan Well, or used to.

  3. April 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    This place looks and sounds great and I’ve heard a lot about it. I need to head over to Dublin sometime to get drinking!

  1. April 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: