Dublin 2023 Dublin, Ireland MSMU Travels

A Completely Unbiased Ranking of Irish Ciders by World-Renowned Cider Aficionado

Hello everyone!

If Dublin is known for two things, let them be for its importance to Irish literature and its pubs. With over 700 pubs in Dublin, there are bound to be a few where famous Irish writers spent their free time drinking pints. Last week, a group of Mounties decided to get the best of both worlds and took part in a literary pub crawl. 

We gathered at The Duke, which has seen the likes of James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Griffiths, and other literary greats. I was nervous that the two men running the pub crawl would be wannabe comedians practicing their improv and crowd work, but thank goodness that wasn’t the case. The main guide provided the stories, live readings, and facts while his partner provided the live music. We laughed, we drank, and we sang along to Irish melodies. 

Post-pub crawl smiles

Throughout the night, our guide would drop hints to trivia questions he would ask at the end of the night. You’re reading a 3-time Mount Saint Mary’s trivia winner, so, of course, I was game for some not-so-sober trivia. The whole group of contestants whittled down to three–a man from New York, a 21-year-old from Virginia (me), and a man from California. First and second place won a prize, and with my luck, I came in third place. But hey, that’s still a bronze medal in the Olympics, so I went home happy.

What’s an Irish pub crawl without a nice cold glass of cider? Every pub in Dublin will have an Irish cider, or leann úll, on tap due to its popularity. Unlike Guinness and other stouts, most Irish ciders are naturally gluten-free, which makes cider a go-to order for those with Celiac disease. There are a variety of craft ciders available at the bars here, but they are not all created equal. That’s why I’ve taken the time to craft a completely subjective ranking of the three most common ciders offered in Dublin’s pubs. As this ranking comes from someone who despises carbonation and still loves Mott’s apple juice, you are most likely to agree with my opinion if you have the taste buds of a toddler.

Bulmers propaganda

In last place is Rockshore Apple Cider. Rockshore’s barely tinted appearance parallels its weak taste. It’s also extremely carbonated, so if you want to belch at the bar for hours after you’ve drunk a pint of cider, Rockshore is your best bet. Second place goes to Bulmers, a good middle-ground cider. The taste is certainly stronger than Rockshore’s, as it’s made from 17 varieties of apples plus it has the least amount of carbonation. In first place on the leaderboard and in my heart is Orchard Thieves. It’s the deepest in color, richest in flavor, and made in Cork. The next time you find yourself in an Irish pub, you should order the cider that you know is Tess-approved. 

Tried and true

Thanks for reading,

Tess

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