Finding craft beer online is pretty easy but when it comes to finding craft beer in the shops is a lot more difficult!
Here’s a quick post about places and the stock they hold!
The Vineyard …no words need to describe this place to any craft beer fan… this is pretty much a sacred ground for craft beers in Belfast, as you can find so much (& spend so much) in a matter of seconds. Located on the Ormeau Road (375-377 Ormeau Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 3GP) it’s prime location and association with sourcing craft beers from all around the world have helped us like many taste many different beers from different corners of the globe.
No matter how much of the selection we could type we’d be missing loads, best advice is to head down & spend a while looking around familiarising with the stock, if stuck ask the friendly staff for advice for your own palate. The guys down there have very well trained staff with a wealth of knowledge to tap into. Additionally they are very keen to source new products for the customers and eager to hear your opinions good or bad on your purchases. This being said you can do a little online tour of the shop via Google.
dr:nk a notorious student off sales in the University area of Belfast, with two shops in ideal locations. Everyone knows it as a student off sales but it actually had a lot of Craft beers in it from all over the world like BrewDog, William’s Brothers, Whitewater, Green’s Gluten Free, Asahi, Samuel Adams, Anchor, Shepherds Neame, Fruli, Beer Lao & so much more. Noting these are some of the more popular ones on the market but they always were open to new products if they could source them! You could see that there was a clear enthusiasm between management and the staff in regards to all the products and some mainly so in craft beers.
Recent history has seen the parent company of dr:nk Botanic Inn’s Ltd went into administration/owners change… and seen the shops dwindle in many products like Craft Beers. This being said we’ve called in every so often and picked up a few wines & beers and seems like its getting back on its feet. Hopefully this is a sign that its on it’s way back to its former self.
The Lighthouse was a recent discovery, we seen a tweet about it and thought we had to check this place out! Located in Whiteabbey (607 Shore Rd Monkstown BT37 0ST) this off sales is in prime location just outside of Belfast! They have a very well thought out lay out system in place between their wines, beers and spirits. Granted you notice a lot of let say ‘main beers’ but they have a fantastic selection of Craft Beers.
They’ve a great Range of American Craft Beers such as Anchor, Samuel Adams, Brooklyn, Goose Island etc. this is fairly balanced out by the German & Belguim selection of Beers like as well as many more popular local brews Whitewater, Hilden & Inishmacsaint. This is a little further from the city centre but worth the travel. The staff are fantastic and have a keen interest in their current selection as well as their customers needs, they even offer to phone you if they have new arrivals which is fantastic if you live a bit away. Many visits on and they continue to keep updating/altering the range to keep it fresh to the customers well worth the trip out!
Grange Wines just off Hollywood (49 Bangor Road Holywood BT18 0NE) is one we found by accident, we pulled in and needed some fuel and noticed the shop so we took a dander in as you do to have a nosey.
Came across the usual suspects but found a very comprehensive selection of craft beers from all over the world. Coopers, Samuel Adams & all their seasonals!, Chang, Menabrea, Little Creatures, Shipyard export & IPA, Chimay, BrewDog and more locally Inishmacsaint, Hilden & O’Haras these are only a selection from the range.
Staff were very helpful and keen on customer opinions etc which in turn seems to have help them create such a range outside of the main Belfast strip, worth a trip for a nosey of their stock.
Gap Wines are located in Belfast & Carrickfergus this shop may look small but has a lot to offer! This specialist shop has a huge range of beers such as the more notable ones William’s Brothers, BrewDog, Hilden etc but from this they’ve expanded on the usual ones and got some of the more interesting brews like BrewDog’s Electric India & Abstrakts, Williams Fraoch 22 etc. The staff are very well informed of the products so don’t be shy to ask a few questions. This shop is fantastic for occasional brews and info on possible beers that could be brought in.
Hopefully this helps with your search for craft beer in and around Belfast, if you find somewhere else let us know!