The future of beer's here with wonderful craft brewing

Artisan ales and delicious food -- these pubs are an example to all

Leslie Williams

THE most exciting gourmet thing to happen in Ireland in the past two years is undoubtedly the sudden emergence of craft brewers. Believe it or not, we have the last Fianna Fail/Green government to thank for this, due to their tax incentives.

Thankfully, a few enlightened pubs have realised the importance of the movement and are now enthusiastically stocking craft beers, often in cask-conditioned form (pumped from a cask at cellar temperature rather than under pressure from a chilled keg).


Two pubs leading the charge are L. Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter and WJ Kavanagh's on Dorset Street, both of which also serve fantastic food from carefully chosen ingredients.

The two pubs came together for a pop-up restaurant at the Mind-Field at Electric Picnic last weekend and walked away with the top prize from the John and Sally McKenna Guides.

The L. Mulligan's scotch egg was the hit of EP, no surprise to the residents of Stoneybatter; a free-range egg, surrounded by rare-breed pork sausage and encased in a herby, crispy crumb coat and served with mustard and relish -- a fine accompaniment to a pint of Galway Hooker ale.

WJ Kavanagh's macaroni with Glebe Brethan cheese is creamy and rich with a lovely tang from what is one of our best farmhouse cheeses and works best with a lighter beer, such as Dungarvan Helvic Gold Pale Ale.

Publicans are often complaining that their trade is dying; well maybe they need to follow the lead of pubs like these and serve us decent craft beer with quality food rather than just the big bland brands with soggy toasted sandwiches.

>Leslie Williams

Over a dozen craft brewers and a selection of decent beers will be at the Craft Brewers Festival at the RDS this Sunday -- see WJ Kavanagh's is at 4 Dorset Street, 01-8730990 or, while L. Mulligan is at 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7 (01) 670 9889,

Cliff Townhouse Oyster Festival runs until Sunday