Best pint of Guinness in the Liberties

Dave Lee, bartender for John Fallon’s pub

John Fallon’s, otherwise known as The Capstan Bar holds the reputation for the best pint of Guinness in the Liberties.

Fallon’s is located on a corner fronting Dean Street and New Row South opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is a three storey red brick building, which dates back to 1911.

Fallon’s is a small, cosy pub with a mahogany bar and a wood burning stove. When you step into Fallon’s you feel like you’re in a traditional, authentic, old Irish pub.

The pub has lots of its original fixtures and fittings. There is a clock above the bar that reads half past ten and has read half-past ten for the last thirty-one years, according to local punter, Jack.

Dave Lee has worked as a barman in Fallon’s for about 30 years so he knows the secret to serving the best pint of Guinness.

“In here our system is the old system. So the keg of Guinness is right underneath where the tap is so there’s a very short draw from the keg to the tap.”

Noel Toner has been working at Fallon’s for only four months but he is a veteran barman. Mr Toner explains, “A lot of bars now store all their kegs in cold rooms so there will be about four or five pints in the line. They’re not bad, they’ve just been in the line. But our Guinness is right underneath the tap so it doesn’t travel so this is the freshest it can be. It makes a big difference.”

Mr Toner thinks that what makes a pint of Guinness good is the way you pour it.

“Different people have different ways of pouring it but the right way, the old school way is at a 45-degree angle, and then the settling and then the topping up properly. They say it takes 119 seconds for the Guinness to settle. Years ago it used to take a few minutes for it to settle because it wasn’t as cool as it is now.”

Mr Lee also agrees that the way a pint of Guinness is poured is of utmost importance and he takes it very seriously.

Dave Lee, bartender for John Fallon’s pub

“I refuse to pour in one go. I’ve been asked by an awful lot of people to pour in one go and I will refuse to. Some people are just in a hurry or they want it served straight away, and even if they’re in a hurry, no, I’m not doing it.”

According to Mr Lee, several famous people have drank in Fallon’s. He said, “Seamus Heaney used to come here any time he had lectures in Trinity and he’d bring a few of his students up with him. Glen Hansard loves the place lately. He only found it in the last two years. Most of U2 have been in over the years and plenty of actors have come in as well.

“Times have changed from when I first started. It died for a while but now it’s back to being the same busy bar as it has been for years…It’s like a country pub in the middle of a city. It has that feel to it. It’s not faked, it’s genuine and original.”

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