Grand so, Galway

You’re in Galway and fancy some really good beer. Where do you go?

That’s entirely up to you but I’ll let you know where I visited on a recent trip to the city.


We peaked early here by venturing into the mesmerising world of Handsome Burgers and quite simply, the best loaded fries you’ll ever have. Or at least the best I’ve ever had. Chorizo, onion, peppers, chilli and lashings of garlic mayonnaise ensure you leave a happy, and full, bunny.  As for the beer offerings, plenty of Irish and UK bottles and cans were available but first on my draught list was Trouble Brewing‘s dubbel, Rum and Raisins.  According to the blurb, this uses Chimay yeast and 20kg of rum soaked raisins – you have my attention.  A delicious 7.5% ABV Belgian-style beer that has the full rum effect coming through nicely.  It also accompanies the chilli chorizo fries superbly.  Many thanks to Aine and all the staff for a fantastic visit, we’ll be back!

The Universal

Another superb taplist featuring the likes of Whiplash, O Brother, Black Donkey and Porterhouse.  Mrs W and I were quite fortunate when we ventured in about 8pm looking for some food as we managed to nab the final small table before the place started to fill up ten minutes later.  A portion of cheesy potato cakes and pickle with half a Porterhouse Oyster Stout for her and a pint of O Brother’s The Rainmaker for me, my good man. This 7% ABV IPA uses Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy hops and is a quality juice bomb with plenty of bitterness from keg.  I’ve read reports waxing lyrical about it tasting even better in cask (I wish I’d been able to make O Brother’s cask takeover in The Black Sheep pub in Dublin last week).  Do yourself a favour, stop into The Universal for some quality food and drink.


The original Galway Bay bar in Salthill was our final pub stop after a delicious meal at The Galleon Restaurant a couple of doors down.  We stopped in on a Sunday night in January which meant it was always going to be quiet but this gave me the opportunity to chat to the very helpful barman Martin who carefully guided me through some of the tap choices.  If you’ve been to GBB’s Belfast bar, Northern Lights, you’ll know what to expect – an extensive range of GBB brews with just under half the twenty taps dedicated to guest breweries from near and far. Near being the likes of Galway’s new Soulwater and far including Scandanavian To Øl and German Ayerger Privatbrauerei.  I couldn’t pass up on one of my favourite styles, dopplebock, so it was a 330ml glass of Ayerger’s 6.7% ABV Celebrator.  Served too cold but when allowed to warm up, delicious and rich figs, chocolate and raisins came through very well.

A couple of other locations on the Galway visit included McGinn’s Hop House, across the road from Caribou.  While it doesn’t have the same extensive range of craft beers on tap or in bottle as its neighbour, we did have time for White Gypsy’s Ruby Red and Spiddal River’s Bogman pale ale and also took a trip to The Crane Bar (beside The Universal) for some traditional music where I was pleasantly surprised to find O’Hara’s pale ale on tap.  Fiddle-de-aye-dee, yeeeoow!

Galway, land of amazing scenery as well as the home of brilliant tv P.I. Jack Taylor and some superb bars and beers.


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