29 October 2009

Show us your dimples

Murray's is what you might call a boutique superpub. It's right at the, ehm, unfashionable end of O'Connell Street and has had a succession of names over the years. The current incarnation is perhaps a little bit more pleasant than some earlier versions, and on my visit the food seemed decent and some of the punters actually looked like they were gainfully employed.

What had me in there in the first place was news that they had a house beer now on tap. Not expecting much, I have to say I was extremely impressed by Murray's Lager. First thing that struck me was the serving temperature: see the frost on the glass in that picture? Exactly. I'd say it comes out somewhere closer to a cask ale: refreshingly cool, yet warm enough so you can actually taste it. And what a taste: Saaz, Saaz and more Saaz. The spicy bitter Czech hop is balanced by a candyfloss malt character, and the whole thing is tasty, extremely drinkable, and at a mere €3.30 is one of the best value pints in central Dublin. The cute dimpled pint mug, something I've never been served beer in before, was the icing on the cake.

All other things being equal, I'd assume this was a Czech import. It tastes a lot like Pilsner Urquell. The barmaid in Murray's even told me it was a Czech import. Except, the postering and font badge are promoting it as "Home Grown Beer" with merely "Imported Czech Hops". So, like Pifko Premium, Solas Lite and the TramCo range we have another mystery beer. It's great the way the beer choice keeps expanding, but why does the provenance have to be such a big secret?

Late late edit: apparently it's a rebadge of one from the Chotěboř brewery in the Czech Republic. Thanks Cliodhna!

22 comments:

  1. Reminds me of those "Asturian" actually brewed in Belgium (and not all that good to begin with).

    Why does the provenance have to be a secret? That's a good question that has two answers: Silly demagoguery, or playing safe in case they ever have to change supplier.

    PS: Nice looking ležák, needs a bit more head, though.

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  2. The Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel in Leytonstone used to have a house lager which it later turned out was rebadged Coors Light. No Saaz in that.

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  3. Yes, the possible future need to change supplier is a good point. Not that there are many alternative suppliers in these parts. It could also be that the brewer doesn't want their name attached to the beer, of course. Though Murray's is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Rebadge Coors Light round here and I'd say you'll find yourself fermenting in concrete boots down Cork way. "Sleeping with the yeasties" they call it at Heineken.

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  4. The barman told me it was "made in Czech" as well. This is a very nice beer and a complete bargain.

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  5. Could they be actually trying to fake an Irish craft beer? That's a victory, er, of a sort.

    My current working theory is that it's Franciscan Well Boh Pils, but I'm probably wrong. I usually am on these things.

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  6. Certainly looks, and sounds, like a nice pint, and I guess that is the important thing rather than where it comes from.

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  7. Very true, Al. I'm just interested from the point of view of checking how the revolution is coming along. Anyone can import a bunch of cheap kegs, but having it brewed by a local guy is progress.

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  8. Is that down opposite the Ambassador (well, down a bit), or on O'Connell Street itself?

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  9. On O'Connell Street itself, on the bit between Parnell and Charlie Burgess Streets. The most recent previous incarnation was called Frazier's.

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  10. "boutique superpub" ? is that a euphemism for "gay bar" ?

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  11. Murray's is the opposite of gay, in all of its connotations.

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  12. I'll have to drop in for a pint; then I should be able to say if it's Boh Pils or not. The Boh Pils that I had in the Franciscan Well was unfiltered though, so it didn't look anything like your picture.

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  13. Like I say, I'm probably wrong. If it's any handier for you, Murray's is also on at the Czech Inn, where there are better alternatives to what's flanking the Murray's tap above :)

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  14. Having just looked at The Czech Inn's list of draught beers, only the Budvar is worth drinking.

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  15. It was a nice enough beer, but until I find out who brews it — or who claims to brew it — I can't put it up on my Beer List.

    Thanks for last week's pub crawl, John!

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  16. No worries, Richard!

    Investigations will continue...

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  17. Regardless, it's always very reassuring to hear about more interesting brews and pubs at home.

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  18. I've never heard a dimpled mug called "cute" before (is that as in "cute hoor"?), and on this side of the Irish Sea we (or I, to be precise) tend to be sniffy about serving lager in dimples - they're traditionally (though now increasingly hard to find) ale glasses.

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  19. It's most definitely not in the sense of "cute hoor". Whatever sort of bogtrotter you take me for, it's not that one.

    Let's see... the ale selection in Murray's consists of Smithwick's, Guinness and Erdinger. I doubt any of those will offer much of an improvement on dimpled pilsner.

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  20. Anonymous10:06 a.m.

    eh.. new to this but Guiness being called an ale?

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  21. Anonymous10:07 a.m.

    just noticed i cant even spell Guinness properly, that certainly discounts my opinions... lol

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  22. On a technicality, in that it's made with ale yeast. Similarly, Erdinger only broadly qualifies, and wouldn't be regarded as "ale" in its country of origin.

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