The Bull & Castle Beerhall is about as far as you want to walk out of Dublin city centre. It is on Lord Edward Street (which is what Dame Street becomes once you walk the length of it). if you’re walking the tourist trail, it is a pretty decent food or watering stop between Dublin Castle and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Happily, Bull & Castle is located near most of the better Dublin Hostels.
Bull & Castle has no pretentious. They tell you exactly what they are. A steakhouse restaurant (yet to be test but likelihood is they serve steak) downstairs and a beer hall upstairs. Run by F X Buckley they brew their own house beer and slaughter their own animals. But this review is about the beer hall.
Up two flights of stairs and you find yourself in a ranch-style bar, long tables giving me that feeling, with menus on all the tables. Although there is a fantastic range of pub grub to be had up here – including enormous burgers – the menu is for the beverages. In addition to the regular taps of Guinness, that are requisite for all Dublin pubs, the beer hall offers a comprehensive variety of beers and whiskeys for your taste buds to investigate. As they rightly claim, Bull & Castle is “dedicated to Ireland’s craft beers.” Basically, if you want to drink as much Irish beer as possible come to Bull & Castle and drink their menu. After all, where else in Ireland will you not only find Guinness, but a Galway Hooker and a Metalman all in one place?
Arriving in the early evening on a Friday I thought we were in luck finding a table – even if it was near the bath room – which looked into their brewing room. We were served at the table almost immediately. Tiernan and I, being of the tender variety, went for the gluten free ale and lager. Setting us back €6 a bottle it is one of the few beers I can drink like a soft drink. As the evening progressed it became easier to order from the bar rather than the table, but we were visited a second time by our lovely waitress who enquired if we would like food. This means the service gets a five star rating from me.
What I would not recommend, and this is thoroughly irrespective of the pub, is drinking a Metalman. As the name implies (and perhaps we should have guessed) it tastes like drinking beer through a rusty metal straw. Mmm… delicious taste! Can’t get that taste out once it’s in!
I wish we’d ordered beer hall snacks because when we decided to try the Steak House downstairs for a spot of dinner they told the general outside population that nothing would be available until after 8.30pm. The moral of the story there is book. Back to the beer hall – one thing I really liked was the lack of intrusive music. If you are looking for a place to eat, drink and chat then this is probably one of the few places in Dublin where you’ll be able to live out that fantasy.
They also have an awesome deal going at B&C:
Present your ticket after any show in Dublin (Vicar Street, The Olympia, The Gaiety, The 02 etc) and receive a complimentary bottle of Sol Beer.
Sounds good to me!
Location: 7 Lord Edward Street, Christchurch, Dublin 2
When to go: Early-ish. 6pm on a Friday should get you a table of some kind.