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Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Beer: 10 Great Irish Craft Beers We Tried in 2016

Summer was all about refreshing session ales and mouth-watering sours, then indoors season brought us rich, flavourful and perhaps a bit stronger brews. It has been a busy year for Irish craft beer lovers, with plenty of new launches, festivals and limited editions popping every few weeks.

We have compiled ten of the best Irish craft beers we’ve tasted this year, so grab a glass, relax and get ready to have a hoppy new year!


Franciscan Well Rebel Red – €2.69 (330ml can)

Toasted and well balanced, with a mild bitterness and a delicate hop character.
This lovely red ale is all you want in the style, and its versatility makes a rare example of crowd pleaser that will also please the beer geeks in the group.
Besides the can, it is also available as a bottle, and on tap in selected pubs.

Available at Molloy’s Liquor Stores

Firhouse Bakery Course

Brú Dubh Irish Craft Stout – €2.69

Rich, chocolate malt with added bitterness to the toasted malt from magnum hops.
Light-bodied with smooth and moderate alcohol.

Available at Aldi

Firhouse Bakery Course

Black Donkey Beyond Rye IPA – €3.00 (on offer from €3.40) (50cl Bottle)

If you’re not feeling like stepping into the dark side or painting the pint red with ales, but you still want something rich and with lots of character, a Rye IPA is the beer for you, and this one is powerful, with a pleasant balance between ripe tropical fruit, burn sugar and toasted cereal.

Available at O’Briens Wines

Firhouse Bakery Course

Galway Bay Buried at Sea – €3,49

Brewed with milk sugars and chocolate.
It’s a decadently smooth stout, creamy and rich in toasted cocoa and caramel notes.
Thick head and a mellow body make it ideal to go with meats or chocolate based desserts.

Available in tap at Galway Bay Pubs and in the bottled 50cl version in Independent off licences

Firhouse Bakery Course

O’Haras Hop Adventure Aramis IPA – €3.15 (50cl Bottle)

This single hop IPA is part of O’Hara’s Hop Adventure series and uses Aramis hops form Alsace. Light citrus and hints of pepper on the nose meet a clean palate where the delicate bitterness of the hops provides estructure while the fruity background keeps it refreshing.

Available at O’Briens Wines

Firhouse Bakery Course

8° Supernova Double IPA 33cl Bottle – €3.25

A powerful -8% ABV- double IPA with a tangy citrus nose and a gingery spicy touch in the background.

Rich and intense, its tangerine freshness contrasts with its bold body.

Available at O’Briens Wines

Firhouse Bakery Course

Wicklow Wolf Children Of The Revolution – €4.05 (50cl bottles)

A very special IPA released to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, made with a blend of hops (Cascade, Simcoe, Columbus and Amarillo).
Amber and with a fresh orange and ripe citrus note, made more interesting by an unexpected hint of resinous pine.

Available at Molloy’s Liquor Stores

Firhouse Bakery Course

White Hag Niamh Chinn Oir Belgian Pale Ale – €3.19 (330ml Bottle)

A Belgian style pale ale so smooth and well-rounded that even with a solid 6,8% ABV it feels friendly on the palate and easy to drink.
Very fruit dominated and with a low bitterness, it’s a welcomed change among the super hoppy, and a great alternative if you want fruity but serious craft.

Available at Martin’s Off Licence

Firhouse Bakery Course

Hope Peach & Blueberry Sour – 2.90 (33cl Bottle)

A limited edition beer, with a unique profile that combines peach and blueberries.
Fresh and mouth-watering, the tartness in this sherbet-like sour is balanced by the sweet sensation of the stone fruit.

Available at O’Briens Wines

Firhouse Bakery Course

Crafty Brewing Company American Style Pale Wheat Ale – 2.90 (33cl Bottle)

Rye River Brewing is behind the latest launch from this successful, affordable range of craft beers.Lighter and clearer than a Hefe Weizen, this wheat beer leans more towards pineapple and tropical fruits than towards the rich ripeness of beers made in a similar style.
Cascade and Mosaic are the hops to thank for the brew’s slightly bitter finish.

Available at Lidl


Gaby ProfileGabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.

Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.

Gabriela Guédez Gabriela Guédez


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