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Ireland has traditionally had a long history of brewing. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were over two hundred breweries in the country, producing a wide range of Irish beer. This number dropped significantly by the twentieth century due to the dominance of a few large and famous breweries.
It was in this environment that, in 1989, Liam La Hart and Oliver Hughes bought a run-down building in Bray, County Wicklow, which became the first Porterhouse. In 1996, the Porterhouse brewpub was opened in the Temple Bar area of Dublin city centre. The group grew to open their next bar in Covent Garden London in 2000. They opened Porterhouse North in Glasnevin Dublin in 2004, and added another in Dublin city centre in 2004. In 2010 they were the only Irish Company to exhibit at The Shanghai World Expo, dubbed the Economic Olympics. In January 2011, they opened their premises on Pearl Street (Manhattan) in the Financial District of New York trading at Fraunces Tavern where George Washington bade farewell to his officers over two centuries ago.
The regular beers are:
- Wrasslers 4X Stout, a 5.7% abv stout claimed to be made to a recipe originally brewed by Deasy's of West Cork in the early 1900s;
- Oyster Stout, a 5.2% abv;
- Plain Porter, a 5% abv; Winner of the gold medal at the Brewing Industry International Awards for the best stout in the world in 1998 and again in 2011.
- Turner's Sticklebract Bitter (TSB), a 3.7% abv session bitter first brewed in July 2000 to celebrate the opening of The Porterhouse in Covent Garden, London;
- Porterhouse Red, a 4.4% abv Irish red ale;
- An Brain Blasta, a 7% abv strong ale;
- Hersbrucker, a 5% abv pale lager;
- Temple Bräu, a 4.3% abv pale lager;
- Chiller, a 4.2% abv pale lager;
- Hop Head, a 5% abv pale ale.
In addition, there are a range of seasonal draught beers including:
- Chocolate Truffle Stout (Spring)
- Hemp Beer (Summer)
- Kölsch (Autumn)
- Vienna Dark Lager (Winter)
- Bohemia Black Lager (Winter)
- Alt (Winter)
In 2009, the brewery launched a range of bottle-conditioned versions of its beers, beginning with Hop Head and Plain Porter. These are packaged in 33cl bottles.
Bottling now Plain Porter, Wrasslers 4X, Oyster Stout, Porterhouse Red, Brain Blasta, Hersbrucker, Celebration Stout and Down 'n' Outz.
Down 'n' Outz was launched in 2010 with lead singer of Def Leppard, Joe Elliott and his side project band also called the Down 'n' Outz. The beer recipe was chosen by Joe and was physically brewed by his own hand along with The Porterhouse masterbrewer. The group have plans to distribute the beer globally.
The Porterhouse Brewing Company regularly hosts beer festivals. Every October sees an Oktoberfest, and there have been many Belgian beer festivals, as well as a Winter Beer Festival, an Australia Day Festival and a Beer and Whiskey Festival Festival.
- The Beer and Whiskey Festival in 2011 was in its 8th year. Fourteen breweries and 3 distilleries from all over Ireland showcase their beers and whiskies. Free beer and whisky sampling sessions take place throughout the bars over the 10-day festival. Each bar has a dedicated beer bar for the duration. It usually runs from the end of March through early April.
- The Belgian Beer Festival usually takes place in the Summer and showcases bottled and draught beer from all over Belgium with free beer sampling sessions taking places throughout the 10-day festival. This year, 2011, the group is running a Summer of Love for June, July and August. They will showcase fruit beers with some guest bottled and draught for the month of June, for July they will have American Pale Ales and for August they will have wheat beers.
- Every Thursday they have beer tastings in their bars. They sample guest beers as well as their own brews and groups are limited to 20. They require advance booking and are free to take part. Check out Facebook for details, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Porterhouse-Bars/352400873236
- The Oktoberfest runs from mid to end of October in all bars. They brew a special brew for the festival and ranges from a Kolsch, Alt, Herbsrucker Oktoberfest and Kolsch Oktoberfest. This is one of their most successful festivals and draws people from all over.
Pubs in order of opening date
- The original Porterhouse opened 1989 and incorporates a 16-room inn.
- The Porterhouse Temple Bar (1996)
- 16–18 Parliament Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- The Porterhouse (Covent Garden) (2000)
- 21–22 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2 E7NA, England.
- The Porterhouse North (2004) - Closed
- Cross Guns Bridge, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland.
- (Considered to be an art deco landmark)
- No longer a Porterhouse pub as of 2016.
- The Porterhouse Central (2004)
- 45 – 47 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- The Porterhouse had a pub/restaurant at the 2010 Shanghai Expo
- The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street, New York, 10004 (2011)
The Porterhouse also owns a chain of Tapas Bars,
- The Port House, 64A South William Street, Dublin 2, (opened in 2006)
- Bar Pintxo, 12 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 (opened in 2007)
- The Port House Ibericos, 5–6 The Pembroke Cottages, Pembroke District, Dundrum, Dublin 14.
The group also owns a club, The Eclectic and hotel at their Bray location on the seafront.
The Porterhouse also own Lillie's Bordello nightclub.
The brewery is located in Ballycoolin in Rosemount Business Park.
This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (February 2012)
- Dingle Green (Bourbon-cask-aged whiskey)
- Dingle Gold (Sherry-cask-aged whiskey)
- Celebration (Limited-edition 5-year-old single malt whiskey)
- Founding Fathers (Whiskey made to the specifications of individual investors)
- Whale Tail (Single malt)
- Dingle Cream (Cream liqueur)
- Dingle Dew (Aperitif)