Life Food & Drink

Sunday 19 January 2020

Barfly

Ed Power

Bar Review: JW Sweetman 2 BURGH QUAY, DUBLIN TEL: 01 670 5777 3 STARS

The craft beer revolution took its time reaching Ireland. When brew pubs did eventually open, tourists – no doubt already familiar with the concept – were the first to flock to them.

A short walk from Temple Bar, Messrs Maguire, which served a very agreeable range of in-house ales and stouts, was a conspicuous hit with visitors.

Now it has a new name and, though the labyrinthine interior is unchanged, with steps leading to the snug and an extensive upstairs area, something feels different. Maybe it's because the English soccer season is over (Messrs Maguire was a big hit with sports fans).

Stepping into the dark interior, Barfly spotted a lady stooped over her MacBook Air, tapping the keys with solemn intensity (that must have been an important Facebook update), while the music was low-key and bluesy.

Regarding the craft beers, Barfly was particularly smitten with the Irish Red Ale, which was full bodied and lacked the soapy texture you sometimes get with Irish-made ales (at 4.3pc it doesn't knock your socks off either).

If the self-brewed stuff doesn't entice, there is also a wide selection of international drinks and decent food.

What's not to like?

In the glass: Pint of stout €4.60, pint of lager €5.10

On the stereo: Laid-back blues

At the bar: The occasional hipster

And? The proprietor didn't pluck 'JW Sweetman' from thin air. Sweetman's was a prominent Dublin brewery prior to being overshadowed by a well- known rival at St James's Gate

Irish Independent

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