Saturday, January 29, 2011

3 yr Cellared Delirium Tremens

There's not even a full box of this in stock, but the couple sold last night were enjoyed by some Belgian beer fans.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just In

Flensburger Winter Bock 33cl
7% abv €4.50

Only a few cases in stock

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sports on the Big Screen

Complimentary Snack during half time for all these games

Updated 10thFebruary
win a case of beer for €1 during each game
predict the winning score and the beer is on us 
This weeks case of beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 
 Limited availability for bookings in Beerhall
 Bar Menu served during all games

Watch The Heineken Cup & 6 Nations on our Big Screen. Watch this space for offers during Games

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Launched on July 1st, 2010, Beoir is an independent group of consumers which seeks greater choice, quality and value-for-money for beer and cider drinkers on the island of Ireland. Our primary goal is to support and raise awareness of Ireland's native independent microbreweries and craft cider-makers.

Additionally, Beoir promotes and encourages amateur craft brewing, and the making of other fermented beverages. It seeks to assist amateur brewers in improving the quality of their end product through the sharing of information. Beoir’s website ( contains a directory of all Ireland’s breweries plus up-to-date listings of the pubs, bars and restaurants where their products can be found, and a calendar providing information on upcoming beer festivals and events throughout the country. There are articles on a variety of beer-related issues and events, as well as an extensive Knowledge Base for anyone wishing to start making their own beer or improve on past results. At the heart of the site is a busy forum for discussing all matters relating to beer and brewing. Members are involved in regular tasting events and demonstrations, full details of which may be found in the “Events” forum. Membership of Beoir is open to all adults worldwide and costs €10 per annum, though access to the website and its forums is free.

Visit Now

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beerhall Beer List

13.01.12 Please note these prices have yet be changed due to the VAT increase.
An up to date price list is available from


A bit about Whiskey

If you were to believe all you heard or read concerning the beginning of whiskey, you would be none the wiser. This is because of lost recordings of the facts over the centuries which has given us a whole host of dates relating to “the beginning” in different countries, different centuries and by a varied style of people. Here are some examples,

1174, apparently discovered by the soldiers of King Henry ll while invading Ireland

15th Century, John of Gaddesden of Oxford, a physician, mentioned the word whiskey in one of his publications as a tool used for healing
1494 Scotland, mentioned in the exchequer rolls by order of the king to have viii bolls of malt produced by Friar John Cor
1556 Drogheda Ireland, an act of parliament passed in this year confirms that aqua vitae (whiskey) is “now universally used through the realm of Ireland”

The list goes on, but, sometime in the 13th century, distillation was discovered (or rediscovered) and brought to every corner of the world by Spanish monks. This inevitably led to experimentation with a wide variety of ingredients by different nations and eventually to the discovery of whiskey.

The “E” thing
There is no great mystery as to why some whiskeys are spelled with an “e” or without an ”e”. It is simply down to the fact that that you could spell your whiskey any way you wanted. Cork Distilleries usually spelled theirs without “e” whereas the big Dublin boys (Jameson & Powers) spelled theirs with the “e”.
Early in the 1960`s John Power & Son realised that the only way for the Irish Whiskey market to continue was for a merger with Jameson & Cork Distilleries. This happened in 1966 and since then all Irish whiskey was spelled with an “e”.. Another mystery solved! Now lets look at the tools quickly and move on to making whiskey
The tools
Water & Barley, Copper, Wood, Yeast

Water is the single most important ingredient of the whole process. It is used in no less than 6 different stages throughout Whiskey production, and if you have been in Ireland for a few days now, you may have noticed that Mother Nature is very generous when it comes to supplies. Barley, as a result of our rainy climate is also in abundance and not just in spring. A winter strain has been produced to enable distilling to continue all year round, this is not how it was done traditionally. So in effect if it wasn’t for our poor weather( or good if you are a distiller) you might not be reading this right now.

The ideal metal for use because of its resistance to corrosion, its ability to last for decades, its cleansing properties during distillation & I dare say a thing of beauty once polished and in full working order. After all if you were to walk into any distillery, surely your first glance would be the huge shining stills. In terms of cleansing properties, the copper reacts with sulphur traces in the product to produce copper sulphate, which is removed at a later stage.


Probably one of the most essential pieces of equipment when it comes to the making of whiskey due to its flavour enhancing properties. Only barrels that have already held alcohol for a period of time are suitable for the maturing of whiskey, because of the over powering effect of new wood. You will notice how the wood flavours the whiskey when you read tasting notes that mention sherry undertones, fruitiness, spicy oak and so on. But whiskey has only been matured in wood for the last 100 years, and before that was drunk straight from the still. When tasting the whiskey you might be able to guess what barrels the whiskey came from by the colour of the spirit i.e. Ruby from Sherry wood, Golden from Oak & Pale from Bourbon.

Usually bought locally, the yeast is added to the fermenting part of the process. Some distillers believe different yeasts produce different results, but this is too hard to prove. It is however, true with beer making.

The Making

The three main ingredients used for the making of whiskey are water, barley & yeast. Each of Ireland’s three distilleries has their own water & barley source.

Midleton Co Cork; water is sourced from the Dungourney River and barley is sourced from nearby Kinsale & Cappoquin in Co Waterford.

Old Bushmills Co Antrim; water is taken from the stream that runs under & around the distillery itself and the barley comes from a malting company.

Cooley Co Meath; water here is collected from while the peated malt used here is sourced from the open market in either Ireland or Scotland.

Now that we have the bits we need we can start the task of making whiskey.
The ingredients go through 7 different procedures before being sold to the open market.

Malting Mashing Fermenting Distilling Maturing Vatting & Bottling


The barley is steeped in fresh water to cause germination that will provide us with natural sugars for the making of whiskey. This wet barley is dried in a closed kiln by heated air that is produced by a fire that burns smokeless fuels. If this fire were to burn peat or turf, you would taste it in the whiskey (this is how its done in Scotland).


Next the barley is ground into a flour type product called “Grist”, where it meets with hot water in a container known as a “mash tun”. The water is drained off and the process is repeated twice more with the water from the final mashing (the wort) being use in the next batch to encourage continuity between the batches. Mashing causes the starch in the grain to turn into sugar.


The water that has been drained during the mashing process is now put into fermenting containers and mixed with yeast. The yeast & wort begin to react with other and when all is done we are left with a liquid that has approximately 9% alcohol by volume. This liquid is a crude form of beer.


This liquid is now boiled in a copper still, where the alcohol will rise before the water due to a lower boiling point. After the separation, the liquid is re-distilled a second time and a third if in Ireland. Twice distilled in Scotland, and single distilled in America.

How to Taste Whiskey

Tasting can be very simple or very complicated, depending how experienced with whiskey you are. While one person experiences one thing, another person will experience something completely different. There are hundreds of different smells, tastes, and aromas & because all our senses work uniquely, we will all come to different conclusions. The best way to taste whiskey is to try several seperate glasses of course!
You will need;

A stemmed glass preferably, or any one big enough to get your nose in(The Celtic Whiskey Shop can provide you with the recommended style)

Water for diluting (optional)
Water for rinsing your mouth
Several types of whiskey

Firstly pour the whiskey into your stemmed glass. This allows your hand to warm the whiskey slightly and release the aromas

Swish the whiskey around the glass and watch as it settles. The longer the whiskey sticks to the sides of the glass, the stronger it is. Also look at the colour of the whiskey to determine age & type of wood used. Whiskeys matured in port or sherry cask are described of being ruby in colour. While bourbon wood matured whiskeys are golden.

Another swish then get your nose into the glass. Don’t sniff too much or for too long or you might miss what your looking for. Note what you smell before you move on to tasting.

At this point, adding water is optional. Do what ever you feel comforable with. Most people selling you whiskey will be horrified at this act of vandalism, but just remind them that this is how the experts believe they achieve the most from the whiskeys.

While sipping the whiskey you should take in some air as you would when wine tasting. This further releases some of the properties and allows you deeper in the whiskey. For those of you brave enough, allow some whiskey to pass over your gums. Strange we know, but believe it or not, you actually have taste buds in this part of your mouth

Lastly swallow. The longer the taste holds in your mouth the better the quality, the shorter the poorer obviously.

Remember to take note of the whiskeys you have tasted. From this you will know the type of whiskey you like, and it will make life easier when you go to the bar or the off license.

It wouldn’t be right for us to tell you what you should taste, honey, sherry citrus etc, because thats all part of the learning experience, and as we have already explained everybody finds something different, so we‘re not going to. If you would like to know more you would have to engage in what we like to call “market research”, that is to say buy some whiskey.

That’s really all were going to tell you about whiskey, but more information can be found in our books behind the bar, or the staff can help you decide what to drink. We hope you enjoy exploring the world of Irish Whiskey and we hope it starts here in The Bull & Castle.


Name Style Abv % Price
Michael Collins   Single Malt 40 6.10
Kilbeggan Blend 40 4.10
Kilbeggan 15yr First Release 40 11.50
Tyrconnell Single Malt 40 5.20
Tyrconnell Sherry Single Malt 46 7.80
Tyrconnell Bourbon Single Malt 46 7.80
Connemara Peated Malt 40 4.10
Connemara Cask Strength 58.8 6.40
Connemara 14 yr Single Cask 46 11.50
Greenore Single Grain 40 5.80
The Irishman Pot still blend 40 4.20
Tullamore 10yr Single Malt 40 10.00
Writers Tears Pot still blend 40 5.50
Knappogue Castle Single Malt 40 6.00
Lockes 8 yr Single Malt 40 5.10
Jameson Blend 40 4.00
Powers Blend 40 4.00
Paddy Blend 40 4.00
Jameson Gold Reserve Very Rare Blend 40 10.00
Green Spot Pure Pot Still 40 4.60
Redbreast 12yr Pure Pot Still 40 5.50
Redbreast 15yr Pure Pot Still 46 12.00
Jameson 18yr Pure Pot Still 40 13.00
Midleton VR Very Rare Blend 40 13.00
Redbreast 1970`s Original Pot Still 40 28.00
Bushmills Blend 40 4.10
Black Bush Blend 40 4.50
Bushmills 10yr Single Malt 40 5.80
Bushmills 16yr Single Malt 40 9.00
Bushmills 21 yr old Single Malt 40 12.00
Auchentoshan 10yr Lowland 40 5.85
Edradour 10yr Highland 40 6.30
Bowmore 12yr Island 40 7.35
Bowmore 15yr Island 40 9.85
Bowmore 18yr Island 40 6.30
Laphroaig 10yr Islay 40 6.30
Lagavulin 16yr Islay 43 8.40
Glenmorangie 10 yr Highland 40 5.20
Glenkinchie 10 yr Lowland 43 5.20
Highland Park 12 yr Islands 40 5.50
Bruichladdich 14 yr Islands 46 6.40
Tobermory 10yr Isle Of Mull 40 5.50
Suntory 12 yr Japan Single Malt 43 7.50
Woodford Res USA Bourbon 45.2 5.50
Wild Turkey 8 yr Bourbon 50.5 5.75
Bourbob Bulleit Bourbon 40 4.85
Makers Mark Bourbon 45 4.55
Crown Royal Canada 40 4.50

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Matching Beer With Food

What was once considered a gimmicky concept, and for those who could not appreciate a fine wine with their meals, is now taken very seriously indeed. But as serious as some take it, it is also a lot of fun. Gone are the days of a pizza and a six-pack, or a roast dinner and a big glass of ale. They have been replaced with BBQ ribs and IPA, or fish pie and hefeweizen.

The best part of the Beer with Food concept is that it is being led by the craft beer industry. Microbreweries all across America have their festivals which involve a chef and a brewer discussing ingredients and flavours associated with their products thus creating their own beer and food pairings. The concept is beginning to catch on here, slowly but surely. The best we can hope for at the moment is finding a bar that serves quality beer and has a kitchen crew who understand the importance of matching a quality beer list with quality foods. Ireland does not have a portion of the general public that is willing to put its money in someone else’s hands in order to try this concept, but if we can make some simple suggestions at dinner time, things may change.

The biggest hurdle that beer and food pairing has to face is the human element: we are all unique so why should our taste in food and beer be any different? Starting with a few simple principles, however, could make all the difference.

The basic idea behind pairing is to create a “middle flavour” which is the result of combining flavour elements from both the food and drink. This is also true for wine and cheese, or coffee and dessert. The “middle flavour” is perhaps better thought of as not so much a flavour, but more of a process to extract the best from the food or beer. For example fish & chips is a dish loved the world over. But it is greasy, heavy and generally leaves the taste buds hidden under the grease layer. Bring on fizz: a pilsner style beer is well carbonated, light in flavour and available in most bars or off licenses. What the beer offers while you enjoy your healthy option, is continuous washing of the grease from the taste buds, allowing the flavour of the white meat to get through. You will also notice a more pronounced malt element because of the food. Finding new flavours in your fish & chips, or experiencing a nicer way to enjoy food, is what beer and food pairing is all about. The same is also true for Food & Wine pairing.

It is always easier to look at the beer element and then find a suitable meal to pair it with. The reasoning here is that you can't decide on a meal and then brew a beer to suit, unless you own a microbrewery and employ a personal chef. What you need to do is assess the beer: is it light and delicate, is it fruity and easy going or is it likely to cause temporary speech loss?

For example, craft beers tend to show more of the hop element than regular beers. Hops can be fruity, spicy or even citrusy (I would like to point out that you are obliged to add a “y” at the end of words which wouldn't normally have one when describing beer flavours). If you have opened a big hoppy beer such as an India Pale Ale, your meal should at least match the intense flavour, or have a spicy element to it. Ribs with a spicy sauce would work well here. If you were to pour yourself a witbier -- a light beer with a citrus element -- a creamy seafood dish is the way forward.

Dark foods or dishes with dark sauces pair well with, stouts, ales, dunkels and porters. Dishes with lighter foods such as chicken or fish are best paired with Kölsch, blonde ales or pilsners. Spicy foods such as curries are best with IPAs, hoppy reds or Belgian tripels, weissbiers with sushi. That's not to say that you should not have stout with salad, or ale with fish & chips. Remember we are all different, and what works for one is awful for the other. But if you experiment every now and again you will pick it up easily.

Desserts can also be included in beer pairing. A raspberry wheat beer is fantastic with vanilla ice cream, or how about chocolate brownies with a dry stout?

Having friends over and sharing different beers and foods is a fun way to learn. And when you become an expert in the art of pairing beer and food, you will find yourself looking for wine snobs at dinner parties in order to unleash on them your newfound knowledge.

The fact that craft beer is finding its way into more bars and off licences means the day is not too far away when we will find ourselves planning a meal, either at a bar or at home, thinking of ingredients and wondering if butter is staying on the menu, or will that imperial stout have to wait for another day.

Our Best Selling Combinations 
Baby Back Ribs with Galway Hooker Pale Ale
Fish & Chips with Staropramen Czech Pilsner
Fisherman Style Pie with Weissbier
and last but not least
Deep Fried Mars Bar with Youngs Double Chocolate Stout(usually shared)

So it's probably time to offer a simple choice of beer and food combinations, simple enough to try at home, or in well-stocked bar or restaurant. Remember we are all different, so expect some strange and startling results. But above all, have fun.

Bacon with eggs – Bavarian Weissbier or Belgian Witbier.Bacon with other savory dishes – Belgian Dubbels, German Rauchbiers and Doppelbocks.SeaBass - Weissbier, Witbier, North German PilsnerRoast Beef – British Bitter and Pale Ale, German AltbierChocolate Brownies - Imperial stout, Baltic strong porter.BeefBurgers - American Brown ales, Pale ale and IPA, Schwarzbier, Altbier, American Amber Ale.Cajun Foods - American Pale and Brown Ale, Schwarzbier, Dunkel, SaisonCalamari (fried) – Pilsner, helles, Kolsch, American Amber Lager, American Pale ale, Saison.Cheesecake – Sweet Fruit beer, Baltic strong porter, Imperial Stout, American StoutRoast Chicken -- Dunkel, Pale Ale, British Brown ale, Dubbel, American Amber, Belgian Pale aleFried Chicken – American Amber Lager, American Brown Ale, AltbierTandoori - American pale Ale, Saison, Belgian Strong Golden AleChili - American Pale ale, Brown ale, and IPA, Irish Stout, Smoked BeerChinese – Weissbier, Weissbock, Smoked beer, dunkel, Belgian strong golden aleChocolate – Imperial Stout, Stronger American Stout, Baltic strong porterChowder – Weissbier, Witbier, Helles, Kolsch, Pilsner.Baked Ham – Irish Stout, Pilsner, Hellesbock, Tripel, Belgian strong ale, English Brown.Ice Cream – Imperial Stout, American Stout, Cream Stout, Strong Baltic porter, Sweet Fruit Beers.Indian (spicy) – Saison, Pilsner, Dortmunder, Hellesbock, American IPARoast Lamb – Scotch ales, Strong dark Trappist or Abbey ales, old ale, bier de garde.Lasagna – American Amber Lager, Belgian Pale ale.Lobster – Weissbier, witbier, pilsner, helles, Irish Stout.Meatloaf – British Bitter, Brown Ale and Pale ale, porter, dunkel. oktoberfest marzen; altbierOysters – Irish stout, pilsner, helles, Kolsch, gueuze, Flanders red alePizza – American Amber Lager, American Pale and amber ale, Oktoberfest marzen.Salads- Weissbier, witbier, American Wheat Beer, Kolsch or with Blue Cheese have Dopplebock.Salmon – weissbier, witbier, american wheat beer, saison, pilsner, American IPA.Smoked Salmon – Pilsner, Dortmunder, Saison, Weissbier, Witbier, smoked beer, gueuze.Steak – American Amber lager, American brown ale, altbier, porter, and dubbel.Thai food- Weissbier, Saison, American pale and and IPA, American amber lager, altbier.Trout – Weissbier, weissbock, or smoked beer if fish is smoked.Veal – Dunkel, hellesbock, Belgian strong golden ale, weissbock, saison.Venison – Doppelbock, British and American brown ale and porter, Trappist and Abbey ale,smoked beer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

All Events

A must attend event for anyone interested in Irish Craft Beers. The first event of it's kind in Ireland, and no one better to run it than the crew at The Franciscan Well Brewery.

The Homebrew Tasting Nights are back and everyone with an interest is welcome, bringing a beer is not compulsory, but spending money at the bar is :-) Click Here for details



All Beer Specials

Updated Sat 25th February

Baltika No.9 Lager 8% €5

Einbecker Pilsner €4.50

Flensburger Winter Bock 33cl 7% abv €4.50

Spaten Pils from Bavaria, Munich 5% abv due this week

There's not even a full box of DT in stock, but the couple sold last night were enjoyed by some Belgian beer fans. One more Case recently purchased.

Flensburger Winter Bock 33cl7% abv €4.50 
Flensburger Pils 4.8% abv
Flensburger Weizen 5.1 % abv

The Flensburger brewery was founded in 1888 and is still under the control of the founding families. Always popular beers here, and at €4.50 they should be even more popular. 


Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted €4 per Halbe

O'Hara's IPA now being served. Now Back On!!

Franciscan well Phúca Spiced Winter Ale. Dark brown with big hits of Ciannamon, ginger & cloves.Real winter stuff. The last keg of the year is now on 

Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere 6.7% abv €6- Only 2 small kegs in stock
Sierra Nevada Celebration 6.8% abv will be on tap by the weekend

Trouble Brew Dark Arts Porter €4.50 per Halbe
Back to Trouble óR this week for a change
Purgatory Pale Ale Now on!!

Irish Cask Beer
Barrel Head Pale Ale sold out in under 4 hours
Dungarvan's Black Rock Stout
Dungarvan's Helvic Gold
Dungarvan's Copper Coast Red
Now On, O'Hara's Stout 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Beer

Clanconnell Brewery, Waringstown, Co Down. Founded in June 2008 by Mark Pearson
Beer of Belfast Champion 2010

The tradition amongst staff here at midnight, is to have a quick drink during the 15 minutes or so that the public leave the building to go outside opposite Christchurch and join a couple of thousand other revellers, all asking the same questions. Where are the fireworks ?, Why can't we bring alcoholic drinks in glass containers outside ?, and Why do the Hare Krishna tolerate the abuse they recieve, year after year ?

My only question was how i would celebrate, or more appropriately, what with. Seeing as McGrath's Irish Stout was the latest to hit the shelves, i packed one carefully into my jacket pocket and headed home. Now i have to say that I'm not a fan of stouts, but i know a quality product when i see one. I had let the beer warm up slightly before tasting, and in the time it took to lift the glass, I had forgotten the huge flavours I should expect from an award winning stout.

Big dry coffee tones, very dark fruits and a huge finish that did not require another sip for quite a while, were my first impressions. Second impressions gave me hops, chewiness and a repeat of the initial burst of big flavours. Being quite tired from a long day, i lost the ability to memorize anything else except to remember to hide a few bottles on a warm shelf for those that ask for something worth getting stuck into. I will be having another one down the road, and there may be some high cocoa chocolate nearby, or even a Redbreast 15yr chaser.