Food & DrinkPub Spy

Pub Spy picks his top five pubs of the month

No 'Dry January' for our Pub Spy
No 'Dry January' for our Pub Spy

January has been kind to Pub Spy and the Commandos, serving us up more than a few boozers that deserved a four-pint ranking.

A trip to Offaly proved well worth the visit where The Brewery Tap (below) in Tullamore left the team impressed.

A young barmaid was quick serve the pints and there are a variety of drinks available on draught, including Peroni, Bo Bristle, Orchard Thieves and Clonmel 1650.

There are at least four TVs, but it didn’t appear that the mixed clientele had much interest in them. The timber floor was very clean and it was an all-female bar staff during our visit, much to the delight of the Young Commando.

The following week brought Pub Spy to County Wicklow and through the door of  Philip Healy’s (below) in Wicklow Town

A friendly, middle-aged barman served us immediately and he engaged us briefly in conversation before resuming his duties.

The pints of stout cost €4.20 and were met with the Old Commando’s approval. It wasn’t long before he ordered round two.

The couches beside the solid-fuel stove looked very comfy and there was a good atmosphere during our stay.

A chalk board near the front door advises that this boozer was voted ‘Best Pub’ in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

After round three it was unfortunately time to depart.

On the same day another pub in Wicklow, The Mariner got the same four-pint award.

The barman served us the moment we arrived and the Old Commando shared a few laughs with him about this and that.

There are two televisions in the front section of this local and most of the punters were enjoying the evening racing.

A trip northward came the following week where the Pub Spy team stopped off in Casey’s bar in Ballingah, Co Cavan.

It’s not the easiest pub to get parking near, due to its location on a steep hill, but it was well worth it.

A very tall, attractive barmaid served us without delay and she was most welcoming and accommodating. They serve food in this pub and the Young Commando pointed out the numerous plaques just inside the front door highlighting the awards it has won.

Casey’s won Pub of the Year in 1986, 1995, 1996 and 1997 and it’s still going strong today.

Then it was Scraggs Alley in Carlow town which got the four-pint award on the last trip of January.

We had promised the Old Commando that the next time we visited Carlow Town we would let him call to Scraggs Alley for a quick pint. He loves the place and always insists on dropping in when he’s anywhere near the area.

The pints of plain are only €4 and the young, bearded barman was on hand to serve us the moment we arrived.

Another good time in the Alley and hopefully it won’t be our last visit.