When you think about craft beer, Ireland certainly isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind, right?
You think about beautiful swatches of green…
Well, why don’t you go ahead and add craft beer to the list of beautiful things found in Ireland. And that’s partially thanks to the amazing lads and lasses over at Galway Bay Brewery, and in their 11(!!!) bars scattered around the Island.
In early 2016, Will Avery, head brewer at Galway Bay Brewery, was brought over from Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw, Georgia. With his help, Galway Bay has expanded their brew house from within the back room of the Oslo Bar, in Salthill, just west of Galway City, to another location in Ballybrit, about a 10 minute drive from Galway City. With this expansion, they hope to begin exporting their beer, spreading that Galway Bay love throughout the UK and Europe.
The new expanded brew house is in a massive warehouse just outside of Galway City.
They have four core beers, which are available Year-round.
Full Sail is a lovely, clean, beautifully balanced IPA with juicy citrus hops and a bready malt backbone.
We love Full Sail so much, we took some home for our Fourth of July celebration!
Bay Ale is a traditional red ale, also well balanced, which pours a copper amber color and evokes the feeling of a crisp fall day with its full bodied malt and fruity, earthy hops.
Althea is a take on the classic American Pale Ale, sessionable, so that you can sit down in a pub and drink a bunch of ‘em, and still be able to walk home afterwards. It’s got a bright, citrus hop character, but again well balanced by the malt, and not super bitter so your palate won’t be wrecked after a couple.
Buried at Sea is a Milk Stout, low in ABV, brewed with Milk Sugars (Mmm… Milk Sugars) and Chocolate (Mmm… Chocolate) to create basically an adult chocolate milk that you should absolutely drink next time you’re in Ireland because you’re an adult, dammit and you’re worth it.
A 16 oz bottle of Buried At Sea ain’t so bad. (Also, ch-check out that thick cut French fry down in the bottom left hand corner.)
If you find yourself in Galway, there are two of GBB’s beer bars that you must visit.
First, in Salthill, pay a visit to General Manager (and General Lunatic) Alan O’Reilly at Oslo Bar. This was the original home of Galway Bay Brewery, and the space is almost reminiscent of a German Beer Hall, with high ceilings and long communal tables.
Here’s that madman Alan, showing off some of his favorite stouts.
When my family visited in June, Alan set us up with a massive table with flights of GBB beer, and delicious appetizers. If you see him when you’re in Galway, tell him Patrick (and my wife Holly Kay) sent you!
The brewing process – in chalk!
Salt House is the second GBB Bar in Galway, and while much smaller than Oslo Bar, it’s got just as much love put into it. This is more of a traditional looking Irish Bar, with small round wooden tables and tiny bench seating, the lights are dimmed, and there’s always a feeling of warmth and love when you walk through the door.
Salt House in Galway City.
You won’t meet a bad bartender here, everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable, and don’t mind if you have any beer questions for them. You can try a sample of anything on tap before you get a glass or a pint.
Róisín and Caius, while they may look menacing, are quite sweet. And funny. They’re cute. Go to Galway and visit them. Drink beer. It’s fun!
So, next time you’re in Galway, if you love craft beer, you’ve got to spend time with these folks at Galway Bay Brewery. They’re putting out some amazing liquid, with passion, love and care. And that’s what life’s about!
Go, explore, and enjoy!
If you’ve been here, leave a comment below. If you want to go, do the same!
Until next time!