Belfast Telegraph

Top real ale guide raises its glass to three more Northern Ireland pubs

By Joanne Fleming

Three new pubs from Northern Ireland have made it into this year's Good Beer Guide.

The Sunflower in Belfast, The Ice Wharf in Londonderry and Daft Eddy's in Killinchy have been added to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) publication, which recommends a total of 20 Ulster pubs for the quality of their ale.

Those already featured in the UK-wide guide include Belfast's Crown bar, Botanic Inn and John Hewitt bars, the Moat Inn in Donaghadee and the Dirty Duck in Holywood.

The Sunflower, with its weekly folk club and monthly comedy club, is on the corner of Union Street in Belfast city centre.

Originally established in the 1970s, it is known for its great selection of quality beer and ales both on draught and from the bottle.

The Ice Wharf is a Wetherspoon pub on the west bank of the Foyle.

It takes its name from the ice trade which was once a feature of the waterfront, and has a diverse menu of beer and real ales such as Abbot Ale and Ruddles.

Known for its restaurant, family-run Daft Eddy's is situated in its own grounds on the shores of Strangford Lough, where guests can dine al fresco. The Good Beer Guide's editor, Roger Protz, said the book was a useful and impartial guide for real ale drinkers.

"This guide is compiled through independent judgment and recommendations, meaning pubs are chosen on merit alone rather than being charged for an entry, as is the case with many other guides," he said.

"If you have a passion for ale and want to know the best places to find it, then this book can be an invaluable resource for you."

The annual guide also gives details of the various beers brewed in different regions.

Among the local breweries continuing to get a mention are Ards Brewing Company, Craigavon-based Clanconnel Brewing Company, Hilden Brewing Company in Lisburn, Whitewater Brewing Company in Kilkeel, and Fermanagh's Sheelin and Inishmacsaint breweries.

"It's fantastic to see a continued growth in local brewing which has been encouraged by an increased interest in local ales," Mr Protz added. "It's welcome news for ale lovers as more breweries means more choice."

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