Most likely the best beer selection in Dublin, as far as scope, variety, freshness, and quality of Irish microbrews is concerned. Split-level, with restaurant on bottom and pub on top. Pub usually feels strangely empty even when there are people inside because the place is so big and it lacks intimacy. There are several long wooden tables so would be a great place for a group party. Crowd is mixed but mostly young, not a lot of crusty old-timers here.
(Visited 11/2011): Bull & Castle is located not too far from St. Patrick’s Cathedral off Thomas Street. It is pretty close to the hop on-hop off bus stops too.
The interior is multilevel with a cozy seating area and small bar downstairs. White stone and tile ceilings. There is a beer hall upstairs.
Bull & Castle’s beer selection consists of around 15 draughts and one cask option, with brewers like Rebel, Galway Hooker, Metalman and Trouble Brewing represented. Over 100 bottled beers broken out by region on the menu.
Service on our lunch visit was hit or miss. The guy who sat us and waited on us initially looked put out as if we we were interrupting his day somehow, but the bartender with whom I spoke briefly and the other person who waited our table were nice so I guess it is a wash.
Our meals at Bull & Castle were enjoyable.
Overall this place has a nice atmosphere and pretty solid beer selection, and I would visit again.
September 2009 - Cavernous and dark, we went here on a tip for dinner. The waitress was an idiot who didn’t know anything about beer and after I asked too many questions about some of the beers, they gave us a different one. The heary Irish food was delicious and the beers were fresh and unique. Definitely worth a visit at its easy-to-find location across from Christ Church.
Dark wood an even more dark wood. A fine traditional pub for sure. The upstairs bar was closed, so my rating is for the downstairs "steakhouse" 13 taps and about 60 bottles. Draught beers from Carlow, Trouble Brewing, Metalman, 5 Lamps and Galway Hooker. Not bad at all. Informative bartender too. (Visited February 17th 2016)
Arrived here late afternoon after a long walk from St. James Gate. The place was mostly empty...but I could appreciate the layout and great feel of the bar. The couple of bartenders I talked to really enjoyed helping me try a variety of beers and shared much about the culture of the place. I thought the selection was very good. I also liked the decor that used a lot of beer signage in a good way. Upstairs is the place to go. I recommend a stop here if you are not going too far out of your way.
When you enter this place, it looks more like a restaurant, but head upstairs to a good selection of beers. This place had something laidback about it, slow music, even the waiters walked as they were sleepwalking. Dark traditional English pub interior with some very old and worn floorboards.
Dinner was pretty good. We had to wait for a table - it was jammed with people watching the ERC (Come on Leinster! ) My burger was very good after I halfed the amount of onion on it. Mabel’s beef stew with puff pastry on top was lovely even if they insist on calling it a "pie". (sorry, personal pet peeve - pies have a crust all round them imho, or at least underneath) I like the restaurant area a bit more than the upstairs beer hall area as it is cozier and has more character. First visit the barman upstairs was friendly, second visit the barmen were kinda dicks (to be fair they were busy with the crowd), wait staff was friendly but not super with it in terms of knowing the beer selection. Selection has a good range, but ordering things that were no longer in stock got frustrating. If you no longer carry a brew, maybe consider taking the huge sign over the bar saying that its on special down? Maybe? lol. Overall I enjoyed it, and probably would return
By far my favorite ’craft beer’ spot in Dublin, if there is even such a thing as an active beer scene. Nice location on the outskirts of Temple Bar in front of ChristChurch.
Great draft selection of many Irish and Northern Ireland craft beers all reasonably priced but still pricey for the quality that you are getting.
Very nice and clean inside with either low-key atmosphere or more active during the football game.
We got an excellent service from Dave who suggested many beers and even offered samples.
Food had the Irish influence with many American undertones as well.
Cajun burger was nice as were the ribs, though a little undercooked.
Everything is reasonably priced considering it is Dublin and that place being about the few places in Dublin actively supporting Irish craft beers.
Fine selection, with IRish micros on draft and in bottles plus a good range of imports. This will be my first stop on my next visit to Dublin.
The beer cellar is actually on the first floor, look in both bars, as they may have different micros available.