Hailing from Salthill is the Galway Bay Brewery. It's based in the Oslo brewpub and has seen a few brewers since it opened. The latest and I hope last is Chris and he has done some marvellous things with the beer. With the possible exception of Stormy Port, the others have always been a little so so, good but uninteresting or bland shall we say? Chris has turned the regular line-up of Full Sail IPA (pictured above) in to a proper IPA matching Metalman pale ale for American hops and perhaps even exceeding it but it does remind somewhat of that most lovely of Irish pale ales. Bay Ale is their red offering and that seems to have undergone as big a transformation as well. Normally Irish red ales are boring to hop forward people like me but I'm pretty sure the hops have been upped in this a little. It now tastes like it has some. I only had a sample last time I was in so I will probably order one next time I'm in one of their pubs.
Under the Strange Brew tap the last time was a brown ale. A very nice one too and enjoyed by myself and my wife. It just stopped short of porter territory for her to enjoy it immensely.
The most recent addition to the range, which started on cask (missed it the first time) and recently made it to keg (above) is the milk stout called Buried At Sea. It's similar to Stormy Port except it's a lot stronger at 6% and has more of a chocolate milk thing going on. It's lovely but by all accounts the elusive cask version is the one to try. I don't think I have too much to worry about because they are moving the brewery from it's current home inside the Oslo Brewpub to an on premises building out back. This will mean increased capacity and planned brewery tours. It might also see them able to sell beers to bars they don't own.
I also challenged Chris to take the plunge and give Ireland it's first real double IPA. Challenge accepted as he was already planning such a beer. I usually go to The Brew Dock as it's so conveniently located at the train station (Connelly) and opposite Busaras. It's also just an awesome place as well as being the most convenient to public transport.
One thing to note if visiting any of their locations. Make sure to get a loyalty card. you get a free pint after you fill the card purchasing their own beers. It can sometimes be a struggle because most of the bars have about 25 taps of awesome Irish, American and British beer (and others) as well as a massive range of bottles.
The locations, only some of which are on the website are currently:
The Scholar's Rest
Against The Grain
The Black Sheep
The Brew Dock
The Dark Horse (Blackrock)
The only one I have yet to try is The Dark Horse but plenty of time for that. I even have a filled loyalty card to use the next time.