€13.40? They wanted €13.40 for two pints? This was completely inexplicable, none of the bar staff were topless, the beer was the same cold fizzy muck everywhere serves and the pub itself had all the charm of herpes.
But what choice do you have other than to be ripped off by Dublin city centre pubs? Are we condemned to spend our lives forking over this much while our debts circle us in an ever-tightening carousel of death?
What beer can you get around Dublin for the price of a round in the wrong pub? The beer had to be good, ideally Irish craft beer. The pubs had to be pleasant. I am far too posh to spend my time in a place filled with binmen and sailors just to save a few euro. And a strict selection criteria on who was allowed to go would be enforced.
With that in mind, Séan sent an invite to everyone on the internet and we met up in The Gingerman on the night of the budget. The first beer was a choice amongst their two litre pitcher of red, weiss or lager for €13 euro. This worked out as €3.24 for 500ml. The Irish red labelled Writer's Red is brewed by the Franciscan Well in Cork. It was my favorite Irish red in a blind tasting we ran recently.
The next pub we visited was Messrs Maguire. They have a special Christmas beer called Juløl which is a strong 6.5% ABV biscuity beer that is quite similar to Messers' award-winning Bock. At four euro a pint it's a bargain.
From Messrs it is just a short walk down to Temple Bar and the Czech Inn. This pub does smell of cabbage, and the soundtrack is distinctly Eurovision, but their Murray's Lager works out as three euro a pint which means you can afford to party like you have just successfully completed a five year plan. Our resident tasting expert described Murray's lager saying the "spicy bitter Czech hop is balanced by a candyfloss malt character, and the whole thing is tasty, extremely drinkable".
We next wandered up to the final venue, the Bull and Castle. The O'Hara's stout cost four euro a pint here. So I went over my budget, the nights total was €14.24 but with the recent drop in excise you might be able to spend less now.
The night out proved there is plenty of good craft beer out there in Dublin. You can go out for a good price. And you can go to a nice pub where you don't have to spend the night admiring knuckle tattoos. Why not go try some?