For the beer-lover, Cork City has everything to offer with countless pubs, multiple breweries, and numerous off-license premises (also known as an ‘Offy’). We hope to give you a glimpse into our favorites and hear from you with some of yours.
If you want to pull your own pint of Guinness, grab a table at SoHo on Grand Parade in City Centre. We went there for St. Patrick’s Day 2009 and everyone had the chance to pour his or her own draught pint of the black stuff. Same price as if you get it from the bar, but without the wait – and it makes you feel like you accomplished something. They offer hands-on training for those who’ve never pulled a pint before and boast being the second bar to offer this unique experience to customers (you can also do it at Guinness’s HQ in Dublin).
The Franciscan Well earned its title, ‘Best Microbrewery in Ireland 2008’, with its great pints and good craic. No visit to Cork City is complete for a beer aficionado without a visit to this spot on the north side of the city centre along the River Lee. On Friday nights and other evenings and occasions they have the barbecue going and food is offered affordably, around €3.50 for a burger. They host many festivals and celebrations, including their Easter Craftbrewing and Autumn beer festivals.
About three blocks east of The Franciscan Well Brewery is The Bierhaus. Just the right size as to feel intimate without being cramped, Bierhaus offers a choice of over 70 beers from around the world. They know what they’re talking about and care about what they’re serving, fostering an environment conducive to a local pub that just happens to offer an astounding selection. This place reminds me of Monk’s in Philadelphia, minus the food menu.
Looking for some quiet time or an evening in with a few cold ones, check out Abbot’s Ale House. An off-license with a little pub upstairs, Abbot’s has a wide selection of beers, ciders, and wines both at room temperature and chilled. The staff here are knowledgeable, helpful, and passionate about the drink. I’ve heard they also coordinate with Franciscan Well to provide bottled drinks for their festivals.
While in Cork, you can’t resist drinking the local brews – Murphy’s and Beamish. In addition to The Franciscan Well, the city has Heineken Ireland which brews Heineken, Amstel, Coor’s Light, and local favorite Murphy’s Irish Stout and Beamish & Crawford brewing Beamish Stout and Beamish Red. Though Bulmer’s Cider is brewed in Clonmel (Co. Tipperary), it is a favorite Irish beverage and refreshing for summertime.