Ireland has a rich brewing history, and it dates back to more than 300 years. It is often said that Ireland has two important contributions in regards to drinks and celebrations – whiskey and beer.
The emerald isle is known as the producer of some of the most popular beers in the world, and the most famous of which is Guinness.
Things you'll find in this article
- 12 Best Irish Beers That You Must Try In Ireland
- 1. Guinness
- 2. Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse
- 3. Galway Hooker
- 4. Harp Lager
- 5. Kilkenny Cream Ale
- 6. Five Lamps Irish beer
- 7. Murphy’s Irish Stout
- 8. O’Hara’s Irish Stout
- 9. Porterhouse Red Irish Ale
- 10. Scraggy Bay
- 11. Smithwick’s Irish Ale
- 12. The White Hag Irish Brewing Company Black Boar
12 Best Irish Beers That You Must Try In Ireland
However, when in Ireland, you’ll soon find that there’s plenty of different beers to try, in a variety of colors, flavors, and ABV. Here are some of the best Irish beers that you must try.
Easily the most famous beer in Ireland, Guinness is also often considered as among the best. Even if you’re not much of a beer drinker, this one is a must-try in Ireland.
Guinness is malty and sweet, with just a hint of bitterness. There are also notes of roasted coffee and chocolate, and a distinctly smooth, creamy texture.
Guinness has been brewing at St. James’s Gate in Dublin since 1759 and is sold in over a hundred countries across the world.
2. Franciscan Well’s Friar Weisse
The Franciscan Well Brewery is one of the oldest and most respected craft breweries in Ireland.
Based in Cork, they are known as the producer of the Friar Weisse, a German-style unfiltered wheat beer.
Known as one of those Irish beers that truly packs a punch, it is flavorful with just a bit of zest. Be careful though, this brew is pretty strong so savor just a pint or two if you don’t want a nasty hangover.
3. Galway Hooker
The interesting name of this Irish beer comes from a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay, and nothing else. This traditional style brew of an India Pale Ale and has a distinct citrusy aroma and a fruity flavor. It is produced by the oldest brewery in Connacht province on the west coast of Ireland. If you’re looking for a beer that veers away from the usual malty and slightly bitter taste, the strangely named Galway Hooker is a must-try.
4. Harp Lager
Created by Guinness Brewery in 1960, this Irish beer was named after the Brian Boru harp featured in the Guinness logo.
Harp has a golden color, has well-blended flavors from malt and hops, and is not that bitter. It is light and crisp and is actually best paired as a Half and Half with Guinness.
A Half and Half is basically a half pint of Harp poured with a half-pint of Guinness. The result is a truly Irish drink that’s a must-try.
5. Kilkenny Cream Ale
This legendary Irish beer has been around since 1710, brewed at the St. Francis Abbey Brewery until 2013.
It has a lovely aroma, a smooth malty sweetness with hints of caramel and fruits. This is the kind of beer that goes well with potatoes, cheese, meat pies, and even cheesecake.
6. Five Lamps Irish beer
The Five Lamps brand got its name from a lamp post with five lanterns, situated at the junction of five streets in Dublin.
The brand only started serving up its brew in 2012 and is a favorite Irish beer among those who prefer low alcohol (4.2%) volume but still want a bit of flavor.
This Irish beer is a good combination of malty and fruity, and won’t give you a killer hangover in the morning.
7. Murphy’s Irish Stout
The beer originates from Cork and has a distinct coffee presence, which makes it ideal for creating adult beer floats with ice cream.
Murphy’s Irish stout is sold in draught-style cans just like Guinness and is one of the tastiest Irish beers.
8. O’Hara’s Irish Stout
O’Hara’s is a more traditional Irish stout, still craft-brewed and regarded as one of the best beers in Ireland. It has a creamy feel and a full-bodied, strong malt profile like Guinness.
However, it has a distinct dry and sweet finish, which makes it a good drink to pair with savory meat pies.
9. Porterhouse Red Irish Ale
Treat yourself to Porterhouse Red Irish Ale and enjoy a unique Irish beer experience.
On its packaging, it says that this craft red has “exuberantly, joyfully fruity with a bit of malty caramel.” The taste is quite interesting, buttery and nutty and with a fruity hint. It has a smooth toasty malt finish.
If you’re going To eat anything with Porterhouse Red Irish Ale, a hearty boxty or potato pancakes is recommended.
10. Scraggy Bay
If you’re doing the Wild Atlantic Way road trip and have reached Donegal, be sure to try the Scraggy Bay beer.
Made by its local brewer Kinnegar, it is a strong (5.3% volume) and refreshing, perfect for a nightcap.
It may not be the most popular Irish beers but it is said to be one of the best that any beer connoisseur must try.
11. Smithwick’s Irish Ale
Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale will surely be appreciated by beer drinkers of all kinds.
This one is specially brewed for those looking to enjoy a delicious Irish beer but without the heaviness of stout. The amber-red color gave the beer its name and known for its smooth balance of malty and bitter flavors.
The name Smithwick’s is pronounced with a silent “W” so it comes out sounding like “Smitticks”.
12. The White Hag Irish Brewing Company Black Boar
This imperial oatmeal stout with an interesting name originates from White Hag, a well-loved brewery along the northern part of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Black Boar is a delicious mix of toasty and bittersweet, with a distinct alcohol presence.
This must-try Irish beer is smooth and full-bodied, ideal for those who prefer an intensely flavored dark ale.
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Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.