On Tap: Shedding Light on Irish Stout
“There’s a lot more to the Irish stout than what’s offered in a pint of Guinness,” says The World Atlas of Beer co-author Stephen Beaumont. And where you are in Ireland determines what beer you drink.
Dublin: The category-definer dates to 1759, when Arthur Guinness brewed a version of the era’s popular British porters, called “stout” to signal strength. The creamy easy-drinker is sold on every continent, but some of the best pints of Guinness are poured at Dublin’s Victorian-era Long Hall.
Kilkenny: Dismayed by the perception that Irish stouts were being dulled down, brothers Seamus and Eamonn O’Hara founded Carlow Brewing Company and, in 1999, released their robust flagship, O’Hara’s Irish Stout: Irish grains blended with earthy Fuggle hops created a hearty brew. Head to the affiliated O’Hara’s Brewery Corner to try their namesake craft beers.
Cork City: Don’t request a Guinness in Cork. The “rebel city” supports Murphy’s, which was founded in 1856 by former distiller James J. Murphy. The pride of Cork tastes a bit sweet instead of bitter, recalling chocolate milk on a bender. Decide for yourself at the 125-year-old Sin É, which also serves up Irish music.
This piece, written by Joshua M. Bernstein, first appeared in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @JoshMBernstein.