Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I honestly can't remember if I mentioned this before, but Charlottesville's best place for beer got rid of Guinness. It used to be the case that Beer Run pretty much always had Guinness on tap, but when they had a keg of O'Hara's Stout on instead for St Patrick's Day I mentioned to the owner that I was fairly certain most people would happily drop 50 cents extra for an O'Hara's instead of Guinness. Whether or not this had any influence on the resultant dropping of Guinness I don't know, whatever the cause, Beer Run now has a rotating stout tap.

As Mrs V was having some friends round for knitting and nattering last night, I took the opportunity to pop along to Beer Run for a couple of pints with a friend, Dan. On the stout tap last night was Victory's Donnybrook Stout, which at 3.7% abv is an ideal post work beer, it really was a simple choice and 4 or 5 mouthfuls took care of the first pint, a proper pint that is, you know, the big ones.

I am a big fan of Donnybrook. Sure it might not be the most sexy, extreme beer on the planet, but it is a well put together beer for drinking with mates in the pub, and therefore pretty much perfect. It's the kind of beer that doesn't intrude on the conversation, doesn't butt its way into your thoughts by being tastebud strippingly hoppy, doesn't have you swilling it around trying to identify the aromas.

It is stout, pure and simple. You know what you are getting and can get on with the real reason for going to the pub, socialising.


  1. How does it compare to Guinness? What makes Donnybrook better? I'm genuinely curious, since you seem to not like Guinness, but then describe Donnybrook nearly word for word the way I'd describe Guinness (and Murphy's, Beamish, etc.) After all, isn't Guinness Draught — regardless of any other short comings it may have — a “well put together beer for drinking with mates in the pub?"

    I haven't seen it around here, except at shit bars with shit beer who only buy from the local Anheuser–Busch distributor (who uses Donnybrook as their “Guinness substitute”, since all the “real” Irish stouts are distributed by the other guys), so I haven't had a chance to try it, but have wanted to (since I love Victory, and Irish stout is what made me fall in love with beer in the first place.)

  2. I have nothing against Guinness in the slightest, it is the first beer I ever drank and still one that you will find me drinking reasonably regularly.

    This post was in no way intended as a slight on Guinness but rather to point out that my favourite bar here now has a rotating stout tap, which is, in my opinion far better than a stout tap stuck on Guinness, or Murphy's, or even O'Hara's for that matter - variety being the spice of life. The title of the post referring purely to the maker of Donnybrook.

    I like the idea of a comparative tasting of Guinness and Donnybrook, will get on to doing that at some point in the future.

  3. Actually Anheuser-Busch is the local distributor for Guinness. I work at Mellow and we as well have taken Guinness off tap. For us it's not a cost issue at all. Many of the nitro stouts we've rotated in its place have been more expensive. What changed was the availability of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. That became available in the States for the 1st time since prohibition last year. Currently it's only available in a bottle. As soon as it's available on tap it'll have a permanent place at our bar. Guinness Draught is delicious, but if you've never tried the Guinness FES pick up a bottle today and you'll be blown away. More on the story here:

  4. Guinness FES on tap??? That would be awesome, it is such a different animal to the bog standard Guinness you get in most places, and incidentally, one of my favourite beers.

  5. Velky Al — I'm genuinely sorry that I misunderstood your feeling towards Guinness. I'm still curious about how they compare, though!

    Greg Kane — I'm sure it's different depending on where you live, but where I live Guinness, Murphy's and O'Haras are all distributed by these guys (and so was Beamish), while Victory is distributed by these guys.

    And, I completely agree with you about Guinness Foreign Extra Stout — it's probably my favorite beer! I'm not sure how I'd feel about it on tap, though. The very best thing I can say about Guinness Draught is that I could drink quite a bit more than a few pints of it in an evening (and that's true regardless of the size of the "pint!"), while the very worst thing I could say about Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is that I probably couldn't.



I worked out the other day that each day I was in Prague I walked about 7-8km, which is about 4.5-5 miles in old money. The longest walk tho...