While Ireland certainly has a reputation for alcohol consumption, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Irish pubs while sober. It is becoming more common for companies to offer non-alcoholic alternatives and they are becoming more popular all the time with locals.
Irish pubs will generally have at least one non-alcoholic beer in stock. The selection has increased in recent years and many establishments will provide more than one non-alcoholic alternative. This is in addition to non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks which are common in most public houses.
The prospect of going to a traditional Irish pub (or “public house”) can seem intimidating, especially to those who don’t want to drink. However, there will be plenty to see and do for people who want to stay sober for a night out in Ireland.
I also have a full guide to the best pubs in Dublin here.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Ireland
There are plenty of options when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks in Ireland. Don’t feel like you have to consume anything alcoholic if you don’t want to when here. There will always be an alternative and you shouldn’t feel pressured into drinking.
There will be soft drinks (soda) available in Irish pubs. They will generally come in two varieties, either from a small glass bottle, or from a “splash” (or soda gun). It is usually better value to order from the bottle as opposed to the soda gun, which is there to mix with other drinks.
One variety of soda available in Ireland, and almost nowhere else, is Red Lemonade. This is made by a number of different Irish companies and is sold throughout the island. It has a similar taste to cream soda from the United States, but with a distinctive red colour.
In recent years, virgin cocktails have become more popular in Ireland. These can come in many different forms. The more traditional version of this would be some sort of tonic water mixed with a “dash of lime”, a dilutable drink found in almost every pub. Just order a “slime-line tonic with a dash of lime” for example.
As more pubs have been offering cocktail menus however, they are also including more typical virgin cocktails in their menu. This will usually change from pub to pub, but it may be a colorful alternative for a few people on a night out.
|Drink Type||Typical Brand||Average Price (Dublin)||Average Calories|
|Soft Drink (Soda)||Coca-Cola||€2.50 – €3.50 (200ml)||78|
|Virgin Cocktail||Virgin Daquiri||€8 – €12||120|
|Non-Alcoholic Beer||Guinness Zero||€5 – €6||80 (per 500ml)|
|Non-Alcoholic Wine||Torrez Natureo Red||€5(Glass) €19(Bottle)||26 (per 100ml)|
Do Irish Pubs Have Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Typically, Irish pubs will serve at least one type of non-alcoholic beer. In smaller locations, the selection may be limited to one draft beer or even just one variety from a bottle. In larger locations, there may be a variety of specially made craft non-alcoholic beers from a number of different breweries.
Guinness Zero has become one of the most popular non-alcoholic alternatives in Irish pubs in the last couple of years. For the most part, wherever you will find Guinness on sale, you will also find Guinness Zero. It will usually be sold for about €0.50 to €1 cheaper than regular Guinness, though this may vary.
While the branding for Guinness Zero claims that it tastes the same as its more traditional alternative, this is not quite the case. Having said that, it is popular for a reason. Guinness Zero can often be a great way to enjoy a few drinks in Ireland without having to consume alcohol.
In most Irish pubs, you will be able to find bottles and/ or cans of non-alcoholic beer. In my experience, the most common brand of non-alcoholic beer is Erdinger or Paulaner, both Weiss Biers from Germany. A more recent addition to Irish pubs is Mikkeller, found in most craft beer pubs and stores.
Depending on the establishment you are in, you may find other alternatives. Also, in most Irish supermarkets or Off Licences (Liquor Stores), you will be able to find a larger variety of non-alcoholic beer than you would have even just a couple of years ago.
While Guinness Zero is usually the most common non-alcoholic beer on tap in Ireland, there are alternatives that can be found. In many places, Heineken 0.0 will be available, though not as often as it will be found from the bottle.
Going to a craft beer pub may be the best option if you are looking for a wider variety of craft beers on draught. Make sure to check out my recommendations for those below…
Best Places to Find Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Ireland
There are plenty of amazing places to find non-alcoholic drinks all around Ireland. While you should be able to find something in pretty much any location, there are some that will specifically cater to a more sober crowd.
Please Note – I will add more locations to this list when able.
The Virgin Mary. Located on the trendy Capel Street, this pub offers the Irish pub experience without serving any alcohol. It has a great variety of non alcoholic beers, wines and cocktails.
BrewDog Dublin. Opened in the heart of Dublin’s booming “Silicon Docks” district, this is the Irish outpost of the famous brand of craft beer from the UK. They offer great food and low-alcohol options.
Lemon and Duke. This cocktail bar is made to look like an old school pharmacy and has many great options for people looking for less alcohol.
The Beer Market. Located in the liberties district of Dublin, this pub may be a great option for people coming either to or from the Guinness Storehouse to the city centre.
The Oslo Bar. This is the original pub owned by the incredibly popular Galway Bay Brewing company, which has pubs all over Ireland. They sell their own brews and a select few from all over the world.
Salthouse. Another Galway Bay Brewing Company pub. This one is located a little closer to the city centre in the famous “Latin Quarter” of Galway.
BierHaus. This German style pub in Galway is also located in the Latin Quarter and offers a really unique selection of food and drinks in the city.