Ireland is known for the black stuff and Cork is famous for it. Two of the three big brands (Beamish and Murphy's) have their origin in this region and a couple of local breweries have their own stuff. I like both pretty much, but you have to keep in mind that both are owned by Heineken and brewed in a big brewery outside of Cork.
In a couple of pubs, you can also find Mi Daza, another local brand. The recipe is said to be from 1850 and once you have tried it, you will see that people in the 19th century had a different taste. Most tourists don't ask for a second one. I believe that it is a kind of acquired taste as the second one I drank (a couple of days later, I gave it a second chance...) didn't taste as bad as the first one.
The Franciscan Well Brewery has another fine stout, but it is even more difficult to find than Mi Daza. I would recommend it as it does not have a strange own taste, but goes down rather smooth. To be sure to get it, visit their own pub at the North Mall. BTW, Mi Daza is also brewed at their premises.
Look out for the Cork Heritage Pubs where there's a good chane to get Mi Daza, Franciscan Well and other less common brands.
From the three big stout brands in Ireland, two – Murphy's and Beamish – have their origin in Cork. While Murphy's only became a big brand after being acquired by Heineken in1983, Beamish's heritage dates back to 1792.
It was in that year when William Beamish and William Crawford bought a brewery which was most probably built in the 1500s. Beamish & Crawford began to establish Beamish stout in the region and quickly it became the most popular brand in the country until 1833, when it was overtaken by Guinness. In 1901, the company went public and went unter Canadian ownership in 1962. Later, Beamish & Crawford changed hands several times until 2008 when it was acquired by Heineken. At that time, the brewery at South Main Street in Cork was the oldest working brewery in Ireland.
In 2009, Heineken decided to close down the brewery and move Beamish to the Lady's Well Brewery outside of Cork where also Murphy's is brewed. This meant also that the guided tours with beer tasting are not conducted anymore. The whole area is now suject to redevelopment, though a couple of buildings are listed and will be preserved – including the „Counting House“ which is described in a separate tip. The nearby Oval Public House, architecturally interesting on its own, belonged to the Beamish Brewery as well.
I was approaching the Bus Station tired after a whole day of sightseeing and shopping when I saw this man playing Irish music on his keyboard. I immediately thought of VT - surely people will be interested to see him. I dropped a coin into his bag and asked if I could take a picture of him. He readily agreed and, afterwards, asked:
"Will I be on television?"
"You'll be on the Internet", I answered.
He looked pleased. "Thank you, thank you" he said, beaming with pleasure.
And suddenly I felt tired no longer.
Favorite thing: Apart from being friendly, Irish people also have a great sense of humour. Some of the things that made me laugh were the shop signs advertising 'Baby Orchard' with 'babies growing naturally', or the 'Mainly Murder Bookstore'. And who but an Irishman would think of hanging his bike on a traffic sign in default of a better place? When you are in Cork, look for more examples of their ingenuity and love of laughter. You are bound to find more.
Favorite thing: There is a huge Tourist Information Centre in Cork. It is located in a heart of the city - in Grand Parade street. You main get every information on the city and surrending towns, as well as on festivals, events, transportation etc. It is also a shopping centre where you may buy souvenirs from Ireland - from T-shirst, chocolades, mags to postacards and books.
For anyone looking for information and brochures on the activities which have been put on for the European City of Culture 2005 - there is a terific office in Patrick Street, near the Body Shop. I found lots of info here, so if you are already in Ireland and in Cork this is a good place to start your planning of activities.
The website by the way is: www.cork2005.ie
Enjoy your visit
The one advantage of catching a taxi in Cork is their tourist information service. The Cork Taxi Co-operative have produced their own thick guide to the area - "A Taxi~man's Guide to Cork" (so I guess there are no Taxi-women on their payroll!!).
The information inside the booklet covers some useful things you will need to know. And the booklet is free, of course (unlike the taxi-fare). A canny idea, anyway, having a car door full of tourist information leaflets!
For that white knuckle ride experience, the taxi driver may take the map and show you where you are, even marking it with a pen while driving at 40kph. Aaaaaaarrrggghhh!!
Some classic stereotyping such as "all good taxi drivers should know where there's a good pint" and "all our taxi drivers are good golfers, and can be sometimes persuaded to park up and join in".
Oh, I think I am rapidly beginning to dislike it.
Meanwhile, the official Tourist Information Office on Grand Parade is full of postcards, mugs, fridge magnets and gifts to purchase, but very little free information, apart from a sheet of paper with a city map. All the guides seem to cost money.
Fortunately little chance of meeting a Cork taxi driver in here - thay are all busy swilling pints or spending their free time on the golf course ;-)
Cork, ‘Alright Boy’.
Not a bad city on the whole some great pubs and lets not forget home of Roy keane, well you won’t forget because everyone in the city will remind on a daily basis. Imagine that a county that has played such a huge part in Irish history and all they are proud of is the fact that ‘Big Bad Roy’ is one of their ‘sons’. I loved Roy Keane but if my memory serves me right did he not walk out on his country during the 2002 world cup.
Anyway I know there is a point to this somewhere, oh yeah have a pint in the Crows nest; it’s a nice pub.
Cork is very lively, I would definitely go there again, if the party is right ;)
Fondest memory: The shopping and the pubs!! :) Cork is very scenic but the traffic system is evil. I ended up on the wrong end of a couple of one-way streets a few times in the car!! (doh...)
We travelled through Cork, stopped off there to shop on the way back, we were going to Lisdoonvarna for a fieldtrip as part of my degree. Apparantly Lisdoonvarna is quite a world renowned place for the festival they have there each year - wouldn't mind to go!!!
Fondest memory: Up on one of the beaches on the west coast there was a dead whale which had been there for about 5 years - it smelt real bad - is it STILL there?
Fondest memory: This is our Ship transferring to another port in Cork,Ireland. We had to sqeeze through a narrow path on your way to port #5.
While the Hayfield Manor was a tad bit more expensive than we like to spend, one gets what one pays...more
(formerly Vienna Woods Hotel), Glanmire, County Cork, Ireland
Good for: Families
Good modern Irish four star hotel that opened for busines in 2005. I stayed here a good few weeks...more