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The Bull & Castle
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 60
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
The beer manu in the Bull & Castle has a decent list (of about 30 bottled beers) that are offered for off sale. The prices are comparable with other on street off licence stores.
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vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Visited here during my May '08 trip to Dublin, and was impressed compared with other places in the area. The B&C offers a nice lineup of local craft beers, I enjoyed a couple of the Galway Hooker (Irish?) Pale Ales. These were a nice change of pace from all the Guinness.
They have tables on the sidewalk as well as a number of areas inside with table dining. The food was good and the prices were reasonable in comparison to other restaurants in the area. Definitely worth stopping into if you're in the city.
05-16-2008 23:16:32 |
More by bkett01
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Visited here a couple of times while in Dublin for a few days in September 2007...
This place is made up to look like a German beer hall with lots of wooden tables and benches and is split in two with the downstairs being a gastropub and the upstairs being the beer hall...
Good selection of Irish craft brews on offer including Blarney Blonde and Galway hooker on tap... i also had a couple of bottles from the Árainn Mhór Brewing Company. The rest of the menu is made up from various Belgian, German and other European offerings along with one or two US brews (Goose Island, Sierra Nevada)..
My only issue with the beers was that they were served way too cold for my liking..
Had a plate of antipasto as well which was pretty tasty...
Overall this is a great addition to the pub scene in Dublin and is up there with the Porterhouse as a must visit...
01-14-2008 15:23:55 |
More by mdagnew
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I dragged my wife to the Bull and Castle specifically to try something different from the standard Irish beer offerings. We were seated quickly, but told we would have to be out in an 90 minutes. I didn;t hear why, but I suspect it had to do with reservations. I went with a sampler of Blarney Blond, Galway Hooker and a 'red' whose name escapes me, but was quite good. The environment didn't measure up to the Brazen Head although I was not in the Beer Hall room. I visited the beer hall after dinner and enjoyed that environment more. I had Beef and Guiness Pie and it was tasty. I would go back and spend more time in the Beer Hall and try more things.
08-05-2008 18:38:35 |
More by DrinkbythePond
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This pub in Dublin, three minutes walk from the Czech Inn and Porterhouse Temple Bar, is in an excellent location without being too touristy (a rarity for the temple bar area in general).
They have special deals arranged with two local theatres, which is a big help when you consider their hefty prices.
The Bull & Castle boasts the best beer hall in Ireland. They offer a variety of formal (read: not 'pitcher') sizes, up to 2 Litres, a rarity for Ireland.
Their staff can be rude at times, which is most unfortunate, but normally only happens when it is busy. If you're Canadian, expect to be treated poorly.
The music is usually lackluster, but the people are usually a mixture of beer enthusiasts and tourists in relative minorities, foreigners in a larger minority, and a majority of beer-clueless Dubliners.
They're involved with a number of festivals, including St. Patrick's day.
The selection is excellent, though I wish they had more draught beers and less bottles. Oft-times, rarer beers are so popular they run out, but there is no blackboard or other space for them to inform customers of this.
The service is usually fast. You'll have no trouble finding a seat.
Note that you have to go upstairs if you just want drink, despite the fact that they have a bar on the first floor. This is very annoying, but that's how it is.
The asshole bouncers outside will ask for identification even if you look twenty five.
This is my favourite pub in Dubin.
03-11-2011 01:06:09 |
More by kojevergas
Nova Scotia (Canada)
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Was there on a Saturday night, and the place was jammed and a bit too much like a disco for my liking. Music was obnoxiously loud with flashing lights and the whole nine yards. Great selection, both on tap and in bottles, from all over the world. Some American bottles like Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale I'd never seen in the area before. Staff were efficient, given the crowds. I'd like to go back at a better time to sample some more and maybe have a meal, but it's certainly a decent place to stop in.
02-06-2010 05:29:44 |
More by Mandrake
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Lots of plaster and wood on the inside. Looks down-home, well-worn and cavernous. Good welcoming environment. This place is clearly oriented towards good whiskey and beer. Not your typical Irish pub... definitely a home-away-from-home for the craft beer drinker.
The quality of their beer (and whiskey) selections are great. The food is good. The entire place was clean, and seemed to exude quality out of every nook and cranny.
Friendly responsive waitress, who was from the Czech Republic if I recall... she was prompt and courteous with the service.
A good range of Irish, Belgian and German beers. Many of which are excellent artisanal beers. One of the best beer menus I have come across in Ireland (which isn't too hard to do). One interesting facet of their selection is the inclusion of about a half-dozen non-alcoholic beers, none of which we are used to seeing in the US.
Good fresh pub food. Above average. The food was a little on the expensive side IIRC, but I was very satisfied with the food overall.
03-25-2010 18:23:55 |
More by jgasparine
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited 3 times in August 2008. Offered good value and selection - several drafts and many bottled beers available.
Belgian, English, German and US beers in bottles. One of the few places where you can find more than the typical Irish stouts and reds. As a side note, there was a pretty good spirit selection available as well.
I enjoyed both the Rebel lager and the Galway Hooker IPA, possibly more than I would have in the states after a steady diet of Guiness and Smithwicks.
The food was the best pub grub we found in a 12 day stay. We returned twice because of the food. Highly recommended.
08-14-2008 19:19:24 |
More by gwclark
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place has become a haven for real beer drinkers in Dublin in its first year (2007). It was formerly The Castle Inn, but was purchased by FXBs who converted the downstairs part to a gastropub (combining beers with food), and converting the upstairs part into a large Beerhall. The beerhall is based on Bavarian beerhallen with solid wooden tables and bench seating.
They generally have interesting brews on tap, including Irish microbrews (from Franciscan Well, Galway Hooker, Carlow etc.), and balanced with imported brews. The beer from the tap is served in kleine (330 ml), helba (500ml), and stein (1L) sizes although O'Haras stout is served in pint glasses. They generally try to have the correct glasses for the bottled selection.
The extensive bottled beer menu lists many imports from UK/USA/Belgium/Germany such as Goose Island IPA, Sierra Nevada brews, Trappist ales, Black Sheep Ale etc.
They also offer a beer tasting for groups serving a half kleine of four different style beers on tap (Kolsch, Weizen, Pilsner, Pale Ale) at a reasonable price, to encourage people to experiment a little in a marketplace dominated by macro brews.
If you visit Dublin, then you must visit this place, even if it is just for a hour to try Blarney Blonde and Galway Hooker.
01-07-2008 11:57:10 |
More by JohnfromDublin
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Bull & Castle has taken top honors for me in Dublin's craft brew scene. The Porterhouse is only behind by a nose, but you "feel the love" of good craft beer here in a way that seems so personal from the bar staff and managers that the more trendy and noisy Porterhouse doesn't manage.
While keeping a few macro-beers on tap for the less imaginative, the staff is proud of their selection of full-time Irish craft brew taps and great selection of bottled beers from around the world. While I can't claim exhaustive research, this is likely the best beer selection to be found in Dublin and probably the whole of the Republic. I've given the selection 4 out of 5 to be consistent with my other reviews, but for the Emerald Isle it deserves a 5 out of 5 .
In the interest of serving interesting beer in a convivial setting, they've taken a first floor (second floor to us Yanks) meeting hall and converted it into a German-style beer hall, replete with park-picnic-table size benches and tables so you get to rub elbows with other people and strike up interesting conversation with people you've not met before.
The B&C also deserves recognition for graciously hosting the monthly meetings of the Irish Craft Brewers. My wife and I met up with this particularly friendly and beer-centric group in the beer hall at the B&C and had one our best evenings in Dublin. Again, going above and beyond. There ought to be another rating box for the degree to which an establishment respects beer. The B&C would get another 5 from me.
The B&C calls itself a "gastropub," and does indeed take items commonly found on pub menu and raise their quality of ingredients and care in preparation to fine dining standards. You cannot go wrong on the menu, and they even serve a top-notch Irish breakfast. Though I'm not much of a steak person, I had to order one of their dry-aged steaks that they come by as part of the FXB organization. Best I've had in a darn long time.
If you visit Dublin, visit here early in your holiday so you don't regret the opportunities you'll otherwise miss to come back and enjoy the full range of beer and food available.
04-12-2009 16:15:24 |
More by MillRat
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Went to the Bull and Castle on my recent trip to Dublin on the advice of BA forums - what a treat it turned out to be. We stopped on a Monday in the middle of a Monday afternoon and headed up the stairs to the beer hall. There was maybe one or two other people in the place. We had a chance to sit down at the bar and talk with one of the bartenders, Dave, for a couple of hours - we really had a great time.
The Irish craft beers on tap had labels on them, which was a nice feature - I had a couple of those, and we ended up going back a few days later to sample a few more. Overall, a great place and one of the highlights of my trip to Ireland.
03-27-2011 15:49:59 |
More by lawlerj
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The Bull & Castle in Dublin, Ireland