This is a collaboration of Mark and Joeby’s blogs
We were having a yap in a pub the other day and we got talking about things we’re good at. In the band we’re good at singing, the drums rock and the fiddle playing is amazing. We’re good at writing, at pub quizzes and fishing (well, pollack fishing at the very least). We also came to the conclusion that we’re good at drinking beer. The evidence of this is, we once won a battle of the bands by drinking loads of beer. You see, buying a beer got you a voting slip and despite being outsupported 4-1 by the other acts, we out drank them and had more votes in our jar). PLEASE NOTE: we believe alcohol should be enjoyed responsibly and if you think you may have issues around alcohol please visit http://www.drinkaware.ie
So we wanted to compile a list of our favorite watering holes around the country that we’ve encountered on our travels. Readers should note, these are not our favorite venues to play in (they might be, but that’s a different list), but places to chill out and have a beer. SO, in no particular order……
- The International Bar, Dublin. This would be our local pub. 3 floors of music, poetry and comedy almost everynight of the week. The staff are friendly and helpful in the extreme, and sharp with the witticisms. Been in the same family for several generations which makes it a rarity in the city and the stew and sambos are excellent.
- The Cobblestone, Dublin. This would be our local pub. No that wasn’t a mistake, we’re two timing our local. Tom Mulligan is a legend (in a legendary family) The pub is actually made out of music and that’s some achievement given the current planning laws. Beer garden is where the best sessions start up.
- Blanchfields, St Mullins Co.Carlow. Shad fishing is hard these last few springtimes, but going to Blanchfields is easy. The young lad running the place was a surprise and an inspiration. Always has a guitar ready to go for us when we visit. Everyone loves everyone in this place. All walks of life. Joeby had his first ever pint in here. Mark’s, incidentally was The Drop Inn in Rush, Co. Dublin.
- Tigh Ned’s, Inis Oirr, Galway. There is absolutely no better place in Ireland to have a guinness on a sunny day, then in the beer garden of Ned’s looking out into Galway Bay with the Atlantic Ocean roaring it’s way around the island. Topping off an arm wrenching day of Pollack and wrasse from the rocks with a night of music or singing or arm wrestling or dancing with the locals is the way to spend our favourite day.
- Hough’s, Banagher, Co. Offaly. An eccentric Bar, that suits us down to the ground. Overgrown outside, dark and dusty inside, music coming out of it’s pores and a soul in the place that makes you not want to leave. We’ve never seen a 10 foot high psychadelic mural of a publican before, but there’s one here of Mr Hough. The whole place is spectacularly shabby in the most authentic way. We hope it never ever changes.
- Luker’s Bar, Shannonbridge, Co.Offaly. River Shannon. Hot sunny days. Cider. Definitely the best view that’s not at the sea. The owner John is real helpful to everyone (about absolutely anything) and Eanna Ryan keeps the place ticking over.
- Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass, Co. Galway. Terryglass is on Lough Derg. We like Lough Derg. Paddy’s have the best guinness in a 40 mile radius. We love Paddy’s. Terryglass is one of our stops on the annual boat trip. They’ve great music sessiuns in here too.
- The Harbour Bar, Bray, Co.Wicklow. The brothers that own the place did the right thing when they invested in a proper stage, proper PA and a resident sound engineer. Now you can hear your local bands they way they’re meant to sound. We salute them! Conservatory, snugs, bar, lounge, venue, beer garden, it has it all. It’s right on Bray harbour so good for a quick fish after soundcheck for a few whiting.
- The Lifebelt Bar, Ballyleague, Lanesborough, Co Roscommon. At the top of Lough Ree on the Shannon. It’s got Paddy Roger’s musicians corner in it. We miss you Paddy 😦
- The Brewdock, Store Street, Dublin. Many a time after a fishing trip we end up here. Cold, miserible and in need of a beer to lighten the mood after striking out once again. Luckily for us they welcome dishevelled strangers with tales of the one that got a way in return for ales that wont.