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5 Best Places For The Freshest Beer in Belfast

08 July 2024 | Caroline Wilson
5 Best Places For The Freshest Beer in Belfast

They say that ladies prefer Milk Tray, but this lady loves a good beer. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree either, my mum was delighted with her gift for Mother’s Day last year of a growler rather than a bunch of flowers.

With the obligatory list of witty names on taps, I give you 5 of the best places to get some of the freshest beer in Belfast.

OUT OF OFFICE

Nestled upstairs in the Ulster Sports Club, Out of Office brewery is quietly ticking away unbeknownst to the revellers beneath. Its decor is in stark contrast to the 1960s vibe downstairs, this white tiled tap room is the perfect place to try some of their beers (brewed by one of our brilliant tour guides!) with office themed names such as 'Kelly from Marketing' & 'nsfw'. My personal favourite is 'Pencil Pusher', a Session IPA.

Top tip - there are brewery tours and an unexpectedly excellent wine list. 

JOHN HEWITT

An oldie, but a goodie! The John Hewitt remains in the ownership of the social enterprise next door, but it’s been operated by Belfast’s own Boundary Brewing since late 2023. We've been visiting The John Hewitt since the original Belfast Food Tour was launched in 2014 when Mr Jawbox himself Gerry White was the manager, and it still has the same charm and authenticity it had then. Not much has changed internally, however the taps are serving up an array of Boundary’s own as well as from their brewery friends further afield.

Top tip - if you need a nice chilled can in the city centre, their off sales is the place to go.

BULLHOUSE EAST

Bullhouse East is situated in the east of the city, between the Newtownards Road and Holywood Road, I have to admit to being a frequent visitor here as it allows me to have a short walk with my dog along the Greenway and then somehow happen through the door for a ‘third’ or even a ‘half’... or maybe three.  I adore their 'Rolling Papers' beer and I defy anyone who enjoys Sauvignon Blanc not to enjoy it. Their beer festival Bullapalooza on Manderson Street behind the bar runs from 9th to 12th August 2024, so get that in your calendars now and thank me later!

Top tip - card only and you can bring your dog so long as they don't drink too much. 

THE DEERS HEAD

Holding the only copper tanks in Europe, not only does The Deers Head hold Bells Brewery, but it's also a gastro pub, with excellent food. The beers are named after lost pubs of Belfast, so sit back and savour their 'Monkey Shaving the Goat' and 'Auntie Annie's'. It is not only a great bar, but a history lesson too!  Live music galore here including ukulele jams, it's got something for everyone, even a speakeasy upstairs with the best martini in Belfast... I digress!

Top tip - the place to pick up or refill your very own growler!

BOUNDARY BREWING

Another East Belfast establishment (they really are like buses), Boundary Taproom has been revamped and granted a licence to thrill!  Call in on your way home, bring your mates to play boardgames or watch the queue over at, the now legendary, Flout Pizza as you enjoy their vast range of beers on tap. 

Top Tip - once you have secured your slice of Spicy Kings from Flout, bring it into the taproom and enjoy!

Updated July 2024!

Words by Caroline Wilson.

Caroline Wilson

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