Forget Guinness. Here are the 10 BEST Irish local BEERS to try in 2024

Okay, so we know Guinness is as much part of the fabric of Ireland as leprechauns and the Cliffs of Moher. But sometimes it’s nice to try something a little different, no? So, forget Guinness (for a moment) and check out the best Irish local beers to try in 2024.

Forget Guinness. Here are the 10 BEST Irish local BEERS to try in 2024.

Saying “forget Guinness” to an Irish person is akin to sacrilege, we know. And we know there’s nothing quite like a creamy pint of the black stuff while watching the match at the pub.

But still, it’s important to remember that Ireland is home to lots of incredible local independent breweries making some of the very best beers you’ll find anywhere in the world.

From pale ales to creamy stouts, craft beers to rich and punchy lagers, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the array of flavours and textures available from the island’s best beers. So, discover something new with the best Irish local beers to try in 2024.

10. Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale – a pale ale with hints of grapefruit and pineapple

A can and glass of Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale (left) and a Wicklow Wolf flag (right).
Credit: Facebook/ Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company

Kicking off our list of best Irish local beers to try in 2024 is the fruity and flavourful Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale. A refreshing and light ale, this pint boasts hints of grapefruit and pineapple, giving it a delightfully palatable flavour.

Hailing from County Wicklow, this brand also makes fantastic core and limited edition ranges, offering a delightful array of flavours.

9. Kinnegar Scraggy Bay IPA – for bold, hoppy flavours from County Donegal

A taproom menu (left) and a can, bottle, and glass of Kinnegar Scraggy Bay, one of the best Irish local beers.
Credit: Facebook/ Kinnegar Brewing

Hailing from County Donegal, Kinnegar Brewery was founded in 2011 and has grown to become one of the most beloved breweries in Ireland.

They offer a diverse range of beers, including pale ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, and wheat beers. However, their most raved about is definitely their Scraggy Bay IPA, a strong and refreshing ale that packs a punch.

8. Harp Irish Lager – a classic cold draught

The front and back of a Harp beer mat.
Credit: Flickr/ Roger W, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

First brewed by the Guinness company back in 1960, Harp Irish Lager has been a firm favourite across Ireland for years. Offering a clean, crisp flavour and balanced bitterness, it is a refreshing cold draught to enjoy on a warm day.

Simple and classic, the beer takes its name from the musical instrument, which also happens to be Ireland’s national symbol.

7. Galway Bay Althea APA – for a crisp and citrusy flavour and aroma

A hand holding a can of Galway Bay Althea Hazy Session IPA, one of the best Irish local beers.
Credit: Facebook/ Galway Bay Brewery

Hailing from the west of Ireland, Galway Bay is one of the biggest names in the island’s current craft beer scene. Some of the most popular include their flagship Full Sail IPA, their Stormy Port stout, and, of course, their Althea APA.

A refreshing and sessionable pale ale with a blend of Irish and American hops, this drink offers a fresh and citrusy aroma.

6. Franciscan Well Friar Weisse – from one of Ireland’s most famous breweries

A hand holding a glass of a Franciscan Well beer (left) and three full pints of different Franciscan Well Beers (right).
Credit: Facebook/ Franciscan Well

Another one of Ireland’s most iconic breweries, the Franciscan Well Brewery was founded in Cork in 1998 on the site of an old 13th-century monastery.

They’re known across the island for their diverse array of beers, with everything from traditional Irish ales to stouts, porters, IPAs, and more. A firm favourite is undoubtedly their German-style Friar Weisse wheat beer.

5. Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – for a smooth and flavourful pint

The top half of a pint of Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, one of the best Irish local beers.
Credit: Flickr/ [puamelia], CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, hailing from – you guessed it – County Kilkenny, is a firm favourite among beer connoisseurs across the island.

Offering a creamy texture and rich flavours of roasted nuts, toffee, and caramel, this is a comforting drink to enjoy the next time you’re at the pub.

4. O’Hara’s – a great range of pale ales, stouts, and IPAs

A selection of beer bottles by O'Hara's on the grass.
Credit: Facebook/ O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beers

Okay, so we couldn’t pick just one here. O’Hara’s, also known as Carlow Brewing Company, are somewhat geniuses when it comes to brewing great Irish beers.

They offer a fantastic selection of drinks, including their classic Red Ale, known for its smooth taste and caramel notes, and their rich and robust Leann Folláin, offering hints of coffee and chocolate.

3. Beamish Irish Stout – a beloved stout from County Cork

A pint of Beamish in an unmarked glass next to the pump (left) and a pint of Beamish in a branded glass (right). Beamish is one of the best Irish local beers.
Credit: Facebook/ Sunflower Public House & Live Music

Hailing from County Cork, Beamish is a suitable rival to a classic pint of Guinness – and many, particularly in the south of the country, will argue that it might even be better.

Dating back to 1792, Beamish offers a distinct rich and roasted malty flavour profile with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

2. Murphy’s Irish Stout – another rival to Guinness

Two full pints of Murphy's on a table.
Credit: Flickr/ Jaunt, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Slowly making our way towards number one, Murphy’s Irish Stout just misses out on the top spot as one of the best Irish local beers to try in 2024.

Another suitable rival for fans of Guinness to enjoy, Murphy’s Irish Stout was founded in Cork back in 1856. Known for its smooth texture and rich flavour, you’ll hear plenty of people across County Cork’s pubs opting for a pint of Murphy’s.

1. Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale – one of Ireland’s oldest beers

A neon sign for the beer Smithwick's, in red, white, and green. Smithwick's is one of the best Irish local beers.
Credit: Flickr/ Thomas Hawk, CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

One of Ireland’s oldest beers, Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale dates all the way back to 1710 when John Smithwick established a brewery in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Known for its smooth, malty flavour with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and roasted barley, it offers a subtle sweetness and a gently hoppy bitter taste.

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