Sunday 28 April 2024


I rise a little after eight. Then trapse downstairs to the bar for brekkie.

The big question is: should I get the traditional or the large Irish breakfast? Good sense prevails, and I plump for the large. Only joking. I’m not a total pig.

Is a description necessary? It’s a Wetherspoons breakfast. Functional, is the word that comes to mind. A way to efficiently load up on calories for the day. Two mugs of tea, too. Proper tea. Strong and milky.

I have to ask at the Storehouse information desk for Eibhlin Colgan, the archivist. And soon she’s leading me up to the reading room. Where she already has the volumes I’m going to consult.

There are eight in total: two Cherry, two Perry and four Cairnes. Covering a pretty decent span of years, between them. 1876 to 1966. Lots to get my teeth stuck into.

I wouldn’t describe the work of photographing brewing records as fun. It isn’t. Tedious. Repetitive. Filthy, sometimes. Backbreaking. Mostly just boring.

Pages are turned, photos are taken. Occasionally, I’ll pause to take a look. More so at the start than at the end of the session.

At lunch, I notice that my phone is down to 38% battery. Which is a bit worrying. I ask about charging it while I eat. Unfortunately, I’ve only brought a USB cable. Damn.

It makes the afternoon session even more frantic than usual. I start to regret how much time I spent on some of the Cairnes records this morning.

When I finish, I’ve still a little battery left. But that was much more stressful than it needed to be. Stress is the last thing I need.

1,000 snaps snapped, I head back to my hotel. Where I recharge my phone and copy all those valuable photos to my laptop. After all the effort it took to take them, I wouldn’t want to lose them by dropping my phone or having it nicked.

In one taxi, I explained to the driver what type of pub I like. Old men’s pubs, basically. One he recommended was Cassidy’s, just over the road from my hotel. After nipping into Tesco Express to pick up a couple of sandwiches (and Taytos cheese and onion crisps) for my tea, I drop by there.

It is, as advertised, and old-fashioned sort of pub. The perfect place to try out the Guinness.

I’m not expecting a sensory overload. Let’s be honest: Draught Guinness is pretty bland. But this pint is smooth and easy to drink. With the vaguest flicker of roast lurking somewhere in its shadows.

I quite like quiet times in pubs. Though his one is by no means empty, there’s plenty of space for me to fill with my fat arse. But still enough fellow customers to observe to keep things interesting.

Only the one pint. I’m not made of fucking money. I retreat back to the ‘Spoons. And the warm embrace off cheap cask beer. I enjoyed the Brehon Black Hills so much yesterday, I get myself another. Which I take to my room. Where whisky I don’t need to pay for (again) is waiting for me.

This isn’t going to be a very pubby trip. I’ve a busy schedule and don’t want to knack myself just hanging around in pubs. Much as I love doing that.

Instead, I hang around my room a bit. Nibbling on my Tesco sarnies and sipping my hotel whisky. While watching some shit TV on my laptop.

It’s me chasing the whisky to sleep today.

42 Camden Street Lower,
Saint Kevin's,
Dublin 2,
D02 YP57.



Anonymous said...

The carvings above the bar are gorgeous. I could be mistaken, but it looks like they were done by hand and not even following a fixed pattern. It does not look at all like standardized millwork.

Anonymous said...

Any future Irish trips you can make pubby.

Did not know your phone was running low and you had no means of recharging the phone.

Anonymous said...

Glad you finally got it out in the open Ron that draught Guinness is shit. Has absolutely no flavour at all these days. Watery crap nitro garbage.

Rob Sterowski said...

I had assumed you used a dedicated digital camera rather than a phone for photographing these records. The one time I tried it with my phone I also found it drains the battery really quickly.

Anonymous said...

Any of the smaller independent breweries single dry stouts are nicer than any of the big three’s single dry stouts.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that's the case Oscar. I get Guinness Special Export (8%, the Belgian stuff) in bottles here and it's a wonderful drink. There's clearly a decent beer fighting to get out of the watery brown soup that draught Guinness has become over the years.

Anonymous said...

Same with Dublin brewed FES.

Anonymous said...

Is the Special Export brewed in Dublin as well? It's exported to Belgium but finds its way to other places as well of course.