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For beer lovers of any age, the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast is a must visit destination. There are over 30 breweries in Northern Ireland, and you’ll find most all of their beers for sale in Belfast. You’ll almost never run out of different beers to taste in the city. Let’s have a look at a quick history of beer in Belfast, as well as our top 5 picks for beers you have to try while you’re there.

The History of Beer in Belfast

Beer is long thought to be a Celtic tradition, but Ireland is no stranger to the process of brewing beer. There’s a wealth of evidence that beer has been brewed in Ireland from around 1000BC. For much of the brewing history of the country, ale and beer was produced without hops as the plant didn’t grow natively in the country, but since at least the 18th century, Ireland has been importing its hops from England.

Until 2004, the largest brewery in Belfast was Caffrey’s Ulster Brewery, but since shutting its doors, there hasn’t been another large scale brewery opened in the area, so much of the beer available is brewed in microbreweries, which accounts for the large number of different beers available in the area.

The Best Beers You Need to Try

The first beer on our list, undoubtedly would have to be Whitewater Brewery’s Clotworthy Dobbin. So good is this beer, that in 2007, it was voted one of the 50 best beers in the world, and remains a popular choice amongst locals and visitors alike.

Next, sample one of the many different Yardsman beers from the Hercules Brewery. If you prefer the lighter beers, then you’ll be good with the Yardsman Lager, but don’t shy away from the Yardsman Double Stout or Pale Ale, both of which are well worth your time.

Hilden Brewery are next on our list, with a range of beers that will cater for any palate, though you’d be remiss not to try the Belfast Blonde, which is accessible to anyone, not just hardy craft beer drinkers. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, then the Twisted Hop is a great choice too.

Where to Drink Them

There are a few good places to cast off your worries and enjoy a pint of Belfast’s finest, but if you’re looking for an authentic experience, this would have to be Whites Tavern, of course! It’s Belfast’s oldest pub, dating all the way back to the 17th century, and still in the same building today as it was in then. They have a great selection of beers on tap and in the bottle for any taste, and often have live music at the venue too. Whites Tavern is an essential stop on any visit or pub crawl in Belfast.

Belfast is a really wonderful destination as a tourist, but is often overlooked when planning a trip. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking Belfast. There are many things to see and do in the city and surrounds and you’ll be kept entertained for days or even weeks in the Northern Ireland capital. 


Essential Beers to Taste in Belfast
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