Not the best of evenings to go for a pint to be honest, with the future of the team I’m about to go shout for hanging severely in the balance. But still, pre- match pints are part of the ritual of going to games, and where better for five supporters to mourn and lament about Bohemian FC than in the heartland of Stoneybatter, half way between the clubs birthplace in the Phoenix Park and its current residence in Phibsboro.
Mulligan’s of Stoneybatter is certainly not to be confused with Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street fame. Whereas the latter has been discussed about in length around these parts, having one of the best pints in Dublin, you can’t get a pint of Guinness in the former. A pub in Dublin without Guinness? Yes, even though this place is a stone’s throw away from the Guinness brewery, it’s a “brewery pub” in the line of the Porterhouse. And yet what did I stump up for? A pint of… Becks. All the fancy lagers and stout on show and I went for the drink only there to service the plebians…
Apparently one time the haunt of those who couldn’t get served anywhere else in the locality, the proprietors did well to clean the place up and present drinkers with a nicely laid out bar area, stretching way back with nooks and crannies in which a solitary drinker can hide. The bar staff, well presented in pinstripe aprons and with a colossal knowledge of the wares they ply from behind a bar that harks back to the establishments past as a green grocers store. While the pint of Becks was, admittedly great (icy cold, with a head that kept to the bottom of the glass- something you don’t get much in Dublin pubs…) there was not much the staff could tell me about it. But when one of our Bohs comrades bought a fancy bottle of 7% stout, served to him in what looked like a trifle dish, the barman was able to tell him what temperature it should be stored at and what angle it should be poured at… Mad stuff.
And with that, we were off to witness arguably the worst Bohs game I’ve been to in my time. A 2-0 loss to a Galway Utd. reduced to nine men. I wish I could say the couple of beers stifled the blow, but, as nice as they were, they didn’t!