After a brief Easter break, which included starting a new job and a quick trip to London (two not-unrelated activities – although I am mostly remote, my new office is a short stroll from the Bermondsey Beer Mile, and I am not *cough* remotely *cough* mad about that – sorry/not sorry), it’s back to business as usual for Weirdo Dublin Pubs, with more or less weekly updates.
We’ve previously covered The Big Romance, and this week, we’re heading to their sister bar, Fidelity, which is very much brought to you by Whiplash, with the music-geek vibe begun at The Big Romance turned to 11 (or whatever it would be people who are *really* into their sound systems would say in 2023 – I just appreciate the tunes). But that respect for the music and the atmosphere still means that it’s not too loud to enjoy conversation, except when the currently-still-smallish spot is packed in the evenings, though there is work going on to expand the space. And while they also have great cocktails and some things I am told are called ‘wines’ on a few taps, this is a proper Beer Appreciation Chamber, with the taps not only as the aesthetic focal point of the bar (MANIFOLD POURING SYSTEM, FOLKS!), but with the form following function – each one can be dialled (literally with an analog dial, so I am told) exactly to the ideal temperature for the specific beer it dispenses. This level of nerdery may be lost on many, perhaps even most, patrons, but it’s not simply window-dressing; the emphasis on quality is real.
The beer list over the bar is also very intentionally designed in a way that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I quite like it, and, more importantly, I love what it communicates – a varied lineup of styles, strengths and guest taps, often from a brewery that’s in town to do a collaboration with Whiplash; recent and upcoming partners include England’s Left-Handed Giant and Track, as well as Spain’s Garage, plus other Irish breweries like Mescan. I’ve especially enjoyed Whiplash’s own Bowsie Brown Ale (everybody knows that I love…brown ale) and The Dead, a heritage-recipe porter, and it’s been a treat to try beers I’ve only ever previously had canned fresh on tap – Dark Steering, their glorious schwarzbier, is especially nice.
And while it’s slightly disappointing that there won’t be a Fidelity beer festival this year, it’s great to have another craft beer outlet within a reasonable walking distance – the fact that it’s ‘only’ Whiplash and Friends is no bad thing.
I still prefer to visit Fidelity relatively close to when they open – as an official Old, I like my bars to be a bit less crowded – but I’m also very glad to have Fidelity in the mix; it’s a great addition to Dublin (and, of course, on the Right Side of the Liffey, too).
Where: Fidelity, 79 Queen St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 DW3R
Access from the city centre: Buses C1, C2, C3, C4, 37, 39, 39A, 70, 83, 83A, Red Line Luas, 20ish minute walk
Food: Not at the moment
TVs: Definitely not
Music: Very serious, but Good Serious
Family-friendliness: I’ve seen people with hipster baby carriers in for a drink (not judging, I’ve been that person), but it’s not a great spot for the small folk
Pub-crawl-ability: High – Bonobo, The Cobblestone, The Belfry, The Brazen Head and L Mulligan, Grocer are all within a few minutes’ walk – and that’s just getting started
Local sites of note: Collins Barracks, Four Courts, St Michan’s Church, St Audoen’s Church, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublinia
Haunted: There is a history to the spot, so perhaps there are ghosts from the former Dice Bar
Other notes: Keep an eye on the socials for tap takeovers and collab announcements
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