This is a guest post by my dear friend Ashley Smith. Ashley is an adventurer, music-lover, photographer, and writer. In November 2014, Ashley moved from her home in Toronto, Canada to spend 13 months in Ireland. While she was there, she made a point to explore a diverse array of European cities that called to her wanderlusting heart; inevitably having great adventures along the way. Ashley is once again based in the GTA and has great plans for the future as an explorer – both as a traveler, and as an authority in her home city. I am honored to share her stories with my readers. Enjoy!
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After 13 months of living in Dublin, and spending a good chunk of those weekends out on the piss in Dublin pubs, I realized that despite the plethora of no-doubt-quality pubs in the city centre, my friends and I always seemed to end up at up at the same one: J.W. Sweetman.
It’s frequented by tourists because of its prime location right off O’Connell Bridge, and though that should have discouraged us (because it’s cool to slag off popular tourist spots when you are living in a tourist city, obviously) we kept going back. If we didn’t start there, we ended up there.
J.W. Sweetman doesn’t have what I would normally require for a really good night out: a dance floor. However, it has a lot of other really great things going for it:
- Local craft beers: After a while, you can only drink at so many pubs that solely serve the likes of Guinness, Heineken and Coors Light on tap. J.W. Sweetman has a microbrewery in the basement of the pub (fun fact: it’s actually the only pub in Dublin that has its own microbrewery!), and serve a host of their own brews. Their house beers are delicious, and I loved going there for a break from the standard pub pours. Side note: their Porter is to die for, and is on my list of top 5 beers ever.
- Live music SOMETIMES: The sometimes part here is actually a positive. It does indeed get tiring listening to some variant of a house band play covers of Oasis, Kings of Leon, Kodaline and inevitably a cover of Galway Girl. It seemed to me that every cover band in Dublin was the same cover band. I love live bands, but I don’t want to hear the same brand of house band every time I go out.
- Great music selection: This is one of the only pubs that I’ve heard play Backstreet Boys, Hanson and then the new Bieber song all in the same night. They have a refreshing mix of current hits and old cheesy favourites. I’ve drunkenly sung and danced to BSB here on more than one occasion, and I’m proud of that.
- Food/drink deals: If you’re in the market for a dinner and pint for a reasonable price, they offer a couple good options of a meal and a pint for 10 euro. If you’ve eaten out in Dublin before, you’ll realize this a gem of a deal, especially for a place right in the heart of the city.
- You can go on a brewery tour downstairs: Because that’s awesome!
I don’t regret spending an unreasonable amount of time in this pub at all. I would highly recommend checking it out if you end up in Dublin. You can find J.W. Sweetman on Burgh Quay, just off O’Connell Bridge. If you can’t find it, there’s usually a lad on O’Connell Street holding a sign for the pub that will point you in the right direction!
Hours of Operation:
Food served all day until 9:30pm
Image Source: http://jwsweetman.ie/index.html