Steve Ryan: the best pubs in south-west Ireland

Steve Ryan started brewing beer in his Hackney kitchen with his flatmates before moving operations to a container in a Dalston car park in 2015. His company 40FT Brewery now turn out more than 7,000 pints a week of its modern pale ales and pilsners. We talked to him about the best pubs back home in the south-west of Ireland

Hi-B, Cork City

The Hi-Bis a funny old pub on the first floor above a shop. You go up these stairs and it’s just a room with a fireplace. The guy who used to run it was very particular and had all these rules. He died a few years ago but mobile phones are still banned. It’s the kind of place to go to for that really traditional Irish pub experience. Cork is the rebel county and they like to stand apart, so they don’t drink a lot of Guinness. They make their own stouts and they’re very proud of them. The Hi-B is definitely the place to try a pint of Beamish. 

108 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, T12 E6CX

The Bulman Bar, Kinsale

Kinsale is an idyllic little town, 20 minutes outside Cork. There’s a great pub there called The Bulman, which overlooks the harbour, close to the ruins of a big old castle. You can walk there from the Old Head of Kinsale, which is a beautiful headland that juts out into the sea. They do great oysters there and they have live music and it’s just a lovely place for a pint in the fresh sea air. 

The Bulman Bar, Summercove, Kinsale; thebulman.ie

Currans and Foxy John’s, Dingle

Dingle is one of the hardest places to get to in Ireland. It’s on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic and it’s a tiny little fishing town. It feels like the end of the world and it’s untouched. It’s like travelling back in time. The pubs are just perfect. I particularly like two tiny pubs that are opposite each other – Currans and Foxy John’s, which are both like time capsules. Currans is half clothes shop and half pub. During the day Foxy John’s is a hardware store and then at night it turns into a pub. The last time I went in there I asked for two pints of Guinness and a hammer. (They wouldn’t sell me the hammer after 6pm.)

Main Street, Grove, Dingle; curranspubdingle.com; instagram.com/foxy_johns

Try Steve’s beer at the 40FT Taproom, Bootyard, Abbot Street, London E8 3DP; 40ftbrewery.com

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