Beerista: Friday night at the Brew Dock

The dedicated craft beer pub is all about having a vast and ever-changing selection

A barman can sense indecision a mile off, I reckon. Faced with an onslaught of thirsty customers on a busy night, the person who hasn’t made up their mind yet stands out like a beacon. Best left alone or for as long as possible, perhaps.

Standing in the Brew Dock pub in Dublin during the after-work rush on a Friday night, the queue for the bar was about five deep. It was hard to get a glance of the beers on tap over the shoulders of people ahead of me, or to get a proper look at the lists on the blackboards.

I asked one guy what he’d ordered and he shrugged his shoulders. “Some sort of pale ale,” he said.

It used to be that there was no decision to be made, because most of us drank the same thing when we went out. And the offerings were always pretty much the same too.


Now things are different – not in all bars, of course, but many have added a few craft taps, while the dedicated craft beer pub is all about having a vast and constantly changing selection of beer. It can be hard to keep up, never mind figure out what you want.

I’d heard good things about Althea, one of Galway Bay’s recent releases. This is an American-style pale ale (APA), with a punchy, tropical aroma and at 4.8 per cent was a hit at our table. The old reliable Founders All Day IPA was another popular one. I also enjoyed Beavertown’s extra fruity Gamma Ray.

The craft beer pub experience can be hit and miss: you won’t always like what you get, or get what you like. In the end, it’s all about trying new styles or finding the trustworthy ones. My advice: find out what’s new on tap; check the ABV before ordering so you know what you’re in for; and just make up your mind.