Irish Beer Retrospective 

If you're new to my blog you might've missed some of my greatest moments in Ireland. Studly Doright and I embarked on an eight day trip to the Emerald Isle with a group of golfing friends, and I became enamored of the beer. Yes, while Studly was sinking putts, I was downing pints.

I kicked off the beer tour quite by accident. We'd landed in Shannon around 8 a.m. their time. After going through customs and collecting our luggage we met up with members of our group and met our driver, Paul. We had a bit of a drive to our hotel in Killarney, but still arrived before our hotel had rooms ready. 

As Paul drove us through his home town of Killarney he pointed out several pubs where we might wile away the hours before checking into the hotel. One pub was very near the Malton Hotel, so several of us left our luggage with the concierge and walked a couple of blocks in search of a pint. 

Of course I had to have a Guinness and when the barkeep offered to take my picture I proudly held up my glass for posterity's sake. Some women are born to greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them, and then there's me.

On day two of our trip I asked about local brews, and as it happened the pub we stopped at after touring Muckross House had a local pilsner from Killarney Brewing Company. One of the ladies I was with suggested that we take a photo of me and this lovely beer, and someone (maybe me) suggested I go for a different beer a day. I eagerly accepted the challenge.

My day three beer was a Murphy's, and I have developed a genuine affection for this beer. It's got a sweetness to it that Guinness doesn't have, and while it isn't carried in any of my local grocery stores like Guinness is, I have found it at World Market in Tallahassee. I cheered when I came across it, startling a rather conservative looking gentleman in the world beers section!

Day four's featured beer was a Smithwick's (pronounced "Smittick's," which confused me for a minute or two). Smithwick's is another thoroughly enjoyable ale. I believe it's a match for Guinness, with Murphy's being my favorite of the dark beers. I have yet to locate Smithwick's in the states. Perhaps another trip to Ireland is in order?

On our last day in Killarney, Studly Doright and I had dinner at the pub in our hotel, and I sampled a Crean's lager, brewed in Dingle. I enjoyed my Crean's. It had a clean, crisp taste and paired well with my order of fish and chips.  


A Black and Tan combo was in order for my sixth day. That's a half Guinness and half Smithwick's for all you novices (that was me ten minutes before I ordered one). The Black and Tan combo is in my Guinness glass, while a Smithwick's drinker let me borrow his glass for demonstration purposes. Superb mixing of flavors in this drink, but unless I can get my hands on Smithwick's I will have to wait to enjoy it again. 


On the seventh day I did not rest. Nope, instead I had a White Gypsy beer, brewed in Tipperary. It was pleasant. I liked it even more when I learned that the company uses only malt and hops grown near Tipperary, and their logo might be my favorite. I felt as dainty as a 5'8" tall, 164 lb., pint swilling woman could possibly feel.


Day eight brought the only beer I wasn't crazy about, or maybe I was just tired of beer. Naw, that can't be it. This Hop House 13 Lager just missed the mark. It wasn't awful, just left me wishing I'd had a Murphy's!


Finally, I made it to the last day of our trip, finishing with an O'Hara's IPA. We'd stopped for lunch near the Burren's, that wild, forlorn area dotted with limestone outcroppings and ancient relics. It seemed fitting to hoist a pint in tribute to our adventure. And because I wanted one.


So what's next? I need to find another niche to explore. Scotch in Scotland? Wine in France? Rum in Barbados? Tequila in… nope. Someone else has to taste test tequila. Of course until I replenish the funds in my bank account I'll most likely be reduced to sampling the burgers in Tallahassee.

Peace, and drink responsibly, people!

The Gaelic Muse

The Gaelic Muse

This lovely statue in Killarney pays tribute to the poets of County Kerry. I discovered it just a block from the Malton Hotel and asked the muse for a bit of inspiration. I’m a patient lass, but any time now would be good. 

Wouldn’t you love to know why Pierce Ferriter was hanged? Well, I looked him up on Google:

“Piaras Feiritear, better known via the Anglicized name Pierce Ferriter, was an Irish poet who also served as an officer during the War of the Irish Confederacy, 1641 – 1652. Piaras may have been born about the year 1600, the son of Eamon Feiritear, (Edmond Ferriter)a landowner whose lands on the far western part of the Dingle Peninsula had been the Ferriter family’s homestead for about 350 years when Pierce was born.

Much of what is known or surmised regarding Pierce Ferriter the man extends from his surviving poetry. His use of the Irish language, themes, and imagery indicates that he was a man of education, and probably well taught in both English and Irish. By account he was a harpist as well as a poet. The surviving body of work represents some of the finest Irish language poetry of his era.

Less is known of his personal life. Evidence exists that he was married and from this marriage, there is known to have been children: two sons and a daughter, Dominick, Richard, and Helen. We also know that Piaras was friendly with both the nearby family of the Knight of Kerry, who were Geraldines, and the more distant FitzMaurice family – also a Geraldine line. From the Lord of Kerry (FitzMaurice) he was favored with a commission to raise an armed company from his lands and neighborhood on the Dingle Peninsula. Pierce’s arming and leading of the local citizens was to be in support of the English Crown however, rather than going to war with the Kerry Catholics, he aligned himself with the anti-English forces, and brought his men to join in the siege of Tralee in 1641.

During the siege of Tralee Peirce was wounded, and his active involvement in the fighting after the fall of Tralee is uncertain. With the fall of Ross Castle in 1652, the war in Kerry was lost, and other defeats brought the war to an end in the rest of Ireland as well. Pierce Ferriter’s sons Dominick and Richard left Ireland as “Wild Geese” under agreements made by Lord Muskerry. Pierce remained at large for almost a year, and many of the folk tales and legends surrounding his abilities as a warrior emerge from this interval. At last, in 1653, Pierce Ferriter was brought in to Ross Castle under an assurance of safety.

After an unsuccessful parley was Pierce began his journey from Killarney homeward. Somewhere near Castledrum, he was apprehended by men dispatched by the erstwhile negotiator, Colonel Nelson, and brought back as prisoner. Pursuant to a trial of which no record remains, Piaras Ferriter was hanged, presumably for having been a rebel.”

I tried to find a sample of his poetry, but came up empty handed. I’ll keep looking.

Peace, people!

Snapshot #192 and a Question 

At our first hotel in Ireland I couldn’t locate the blow dryer. I looked high and low and finally called the front desk. The young lady who answered the phone advised me to look in the center drawer of the writing desk beside our closet. 

Sure enough, there was the blow dryer, its base firmly attached to the inside of the drawer. I’d forgotten that in the U.K., none of the electrical outlets in hotel bathrooms will accommodate any appliance other than an electric shaver. I guess I could’ve shaved my head and then I’d have had no need for a dryer.

Let’s call this one, “Thar She Blows!”

Question for my friends in the U.K.: Can you blow dry your hair in the bathroom? 

The Malton in Killarney, County Kerry

Our first few nights in Ireland were spent in the lovely Malton Hotel in Killarney. The hotel is within easy walking distance to the shops and pubs in the charming downtown area and most evenings we enjoyed a stroll to a restaurant for dinner and maybe a pint or two.

Reception area

View from one of the conversation nooks.
Outside the hotel’s pub.
Russ, one of the golfers, struck an impromptu pose in front of the Malton
Each morning I enjoyed honey straight from the honeycomb in the Malton’s breakfast area.

The loggia connecting the hotel with the spa area
Dennis the Menace chatting away.
Lovely Rachel with her hubby, Russ.

The Malton Hotel made us feel welcome in a faraway land. I highly recommend it, but suggest that you request a room with a larger shower. Some in our party, including Studly Doright and I, had tiny shower stalls while other couples enjoyed more comfortably sized ones. Our bathtub was luxuriously sized, though.

Peace, people!

Another Day…

Another day, another beer! 

After a day of riding a tour bus and touring the Muckross House near Killarney, several of us found a small pub and enjoyed a locally brewed beer. I had the Killarney pilsner. It was lip-smacking good!


Here’s another Irish toast befitting the occasion:

Irish Quotes

I wish you health, I wish you well, and happiness galore. 

I wish you luck for you and friends; what could I wish you more? 

May your joys be as deep as the oceans, your troubles as light as its foam. 

And may you find, sweet peace of mind, where ever you may roam.

Peace from Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland.