Barfry: Against The Grain
11 Wexford Street, Dublin
TEL: 01 4053604
A crestfallen American once likened the Irish pub trade to the processed cheese market, by which he meant we were guzzling the equivalent of EasiSingles when we could have been tucking into something artisanal, organic and originating from West Cork.
Over recent years, the situation has improved somewhat, particularly in Cork and Galway, where local boutique brews are widely available. For Dublin residents, alas, going off the map beer-wise has meant a trip to an outlet of the Porterhouse chain, which, notwithstanding the excellent selection, can have a distinct whiff of the tourist pub/ post-office hangout.
Striking an altogether different tone is recent Wexford Street arrival Against The Grain, where the focus is on Irish, British and American specialty lagers, ales and stouts.
Ambiance-wise, it embraces the standard vintage aesthetic of exposed wood-paneling and blaring indie tunes, but the clientele is mainstream. For anyone who would happily never let another Coors Lite/Guinness/Budweiser pass their lips again, it's a little corner of booze Nirvana. Labelled the 'corner of death', this location has, admittedly, seen a succession of bars open and close over the past decade. Beer aficionados will hope one plucky newcomer fares better.
IN THE GLASS: Pint of stout €4.40, pint of lager 4.80
AT THE BAR: Too diverse to be pinned down
ON THE STEREO: LCD Soundsystem
AND? Take a virtual tour via the pub’s Facebook page