It’s no secret that when it comes to Guinness, I pretend to be some kind of expert – so much so that I even came up with a Guinness bucket list for 2018 which I am still trying to make my way through.
It’s something that my belly does not thank me for and it’s a sort of love that my bank account keeps advising me to break up with.
But I refuse and you know why? Because I spent years trying to find the perfect drink.
Cider? Rips the stomach out of me. Lager? Gives me a terrible headache the next morning.
Vodka? Memory loss. Gin? Makes me emotional and Brandy makes me angry. Whiskey? Incoherent and out for the count.
Coming from the west of Ireland where nearly everything is under a €5, it was always going to be a cultural shock to experience Dublin prices.
And I’ve no problem in paying it, that’s fine. If I’ve made a decision to head to a certain spot to meet someone or to try it out because I’ve heard good things about it, then the price of the pint comes with that.
But if I’m not getting two pints out of €11 at least, I probably won’t darken that door again.
I just think it’s a sin. Sometimes you’re paying €5.50 – €7 for a pint and it tastes like something you’d concoct in your bathtub.
So, it was time to do some research and instead of traipsing around the streets of Dublin testing every pub and taking note of the prices (something I’d have only loved to do if anyone wants to sponsor me), I took to google to price around.
I came across Guindex “whose aim is to analyse the price distribution of Guinness pints across Ireland.”
Simple as that, not a definitive ranking of what’s good and what’s tack, just a comprehensive list of the dearest and the cheapest.
They don’t just track Dublin, however, and pride themselves on getting around the county pub by pub.
At the moment, they’ve analysed 3765 pubs and they found that an astonishing 18 don’t serve the blessed drink, disgraceful.
The mission of this wasn’t to find a place in Dublin that was under €4 because I honestly didn’t think it was possible.
But there’s something glorious about handing in a fiver for a pint and getting lots of change back. Or handing in €10, getting two pints and knowing that you’ve the bones of a third one too.
I knew my own local in Kimmage, Rory O’Connor’s, was serving Guinness for less than €5 but I thought it was one of the only ones.
I was wrong; some pubs €4.50 or under in the capital include: The Royal Oak, McGarry’s Bar, Shanahan’s, Peadar Browns, Kenny’s Lounge, The Portobello Bar, The Fifty One and two Kavanagh’s – one in Stoneybatter, the other in Clanbrassil Street – to name but a few.
But there’s only two pubs in the capital on this Guinness Index that sell the drop of the cure for less than two, €2 coins – it doesn’t mean that there isn’t more and if there is please let us know about them, we’d only be delighted to know about them.
And I’m not here to tell you how they taste, figure that one out for yourself by heading down but just be happy knowing you can do it while getting a euro and some back from your fiver.
In my local back home, there’s a sign on the wall that shows the history of pints of Guinness prices from 1900 all the way to 1992.
It ends three years before I was born where the price of a pint was £1.65 which would be just over €2 in today’s money.
I was amazed but as I was quickly informed by my father, getting €50 back then wasn’t as easy as getting €50 now. Fair enough says I while still dreaming about buying five pints for €10.
I hadn’t heard of this pub before so I was disappointed in myself to find out that it is in the next neighbourhood across from me.
Eleanora’s Bar & Lounge – €3.90
Drimnagh Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12
It’s a place that looks to have something different on every night. Bingo, music, football, quizzes. When you put on the events like this, you bring the people in. So, is that a reason that the pints are so cheap? More people = more pints = drop the price? Well if that’s the case, everywhere in town should be under €5 too.
Of course, you have to take location into account. Locals would be none too plussed about paying over the odds for a pint on the outskirts of D12 but on the flip side, you’d think that pubs could get away with it considering their next haunt could be a 15 minute walk away – sure you’d have the pint drank before you’d be in the next place, either pay the €5 or get walking.
It’s a place that does carvery as well during the day time if you want some soakage in between your mid-day or evening pints.
And, it’s home to some very famous clientele who normally pop in for just the one every September…
The Snug Bar – €3.70
15 Stephen Street Upper, Dublin 8
Don’t shout it too loud. We’re putting the price of the pint in the headline and that’s where it’ll stay.
A price so good that it’s almost at that glorious sweet spot where you could get three pints for a tenor.
Imagine, living in a world where Dublin win 4 in a row, the boom is back but you need a measly €3.70 to get yourself some Guinness.
Shite, we promised we wouldn’t say it again but there you go.
€3.70, Three-Seventy, 3, 7, 0.
And possibly the greatest name in the world for a place donning such a cheap pint. I could easily snuggle myself in here and never leave.
It’s right in the middle of town, surrounded by all the hustle and bustle and loud noises and the pitter-patter of feet walking up and down Grafton Street. And while everything rushes around it, it remains still and its price remains low.
There’s nothing fancy about The Snug and the price of the Guinness reflects that but when the thirst is on you and you’ve only a fiver to your name, you’ll always realise that the fancy bit never mattered that much anyway.
A harp lies on one of the tables and upon that harp you can rest another one, or another few depending on how long you’re staying for of course.