Northern Lights Belfast - Before you read, watch the video >>
Now in my lifetime, the spot that Northern Lights Belfast now occupies has been home to several different ventures. Sitting on the corner of the Ormeau Road and Sunnyside Street, it has been home to the Mercury, Judes and Brewdog more recently, though I'm sure there were more. But Galway Bay Brewery's 11th, Northern Lights, was opened there back in October 2017.
About the brewery
The other bars can be found in Dublin, Limerick and of course, Galway, where it all began in the Oslo where the owners Jason O'Connell and Niall Walsh added an onsite Brewery in 2009.Having expanded to a successful group of bars in Galway and beyond, they've relocated the brewery from Salthill to Ballybrit, got themselves a new Head Brewer, Will Avery from Georgia USA, and now they're looking to sell their craft beers into the UK and mainland Europe.
In their range, you'll find 4 core beers, Full Sail (IPA), Bay Ale (Red Ale), Althea, which is a nice new addition, session IPA, and Buried at Sea which is a gorgeous chocolatey milk stout.
As with most other craft breweries, the rest is made up of limited editions and seasonal brews.
So naturally, when you walk into Northern Lights you can immediately tell you're in craft beer nirvana. Not only do they have half a dozen from the Galway Bay range, but the rest of their 20 taps, are made up of local and international guest beers. In addition, there is a choice of 120 (just, read that number again...) craft beers in cans or bottles.
Being a craft beer (super)fan but never having had so much choice, it was great that the servers were able to make recommendations and were happy to give a sample of the beer to try before you buy. I know only too well how much of a pain in the arse it is to bar folk when you say "surprise me!", but they were great at nudging in the right direction. Their bats are also a great way of trying a few different beers if you're not sure what to have.
Don't worry if you're not a beer fan, they do plenty of good wine, good whiskey and good gin (plus other spirits) here too.
And they do great food too
Now you may be thinking 'right here's a craft beer joint with umpteen drinks, pool table up the stairs (BIG bonus if you ask me, AND they're getting a fusbol table in soon too!), so I'm guessing food is probably just 'ok'!?"
Good hearty properly tasty chickeny burgery brilliance! That's all there really is to say about, but sure I'll write a bit more, why not?
The spicy chicken wings were an absolute hit and go great with a nice craft ale. And the burgers are huge, chicken and beef, you build your own and they have gluten free baps on request.
Check out the incredible steak deal they do among other food and drink offers. Plus you'll find Northern Lights among the list of bars and restaurants on the Ohh Social app, where you can get 2 for 1 on dinner main course, weekend lunch and beer bats, excellent stuff! Download the app below and have a look at the rest of the offers, there are tonnes!
1st Birthday Bash Exclusive
So Northern Lights is 1 year old this autumn and they have something pretty special planned for the end of October. They are celebrating their birthday with a Northern Ireland craft brewery tap takeover!
They have over a dozen local breweries signed up so far and some of the brewers will be there on the night to tell their story too. keep an eye out on the Northern Lights Facebook Page for more information on the way soon!
I think in recent years, making beer has become a massively creative art, bound only by the imagination of the brewer. And with the craft beer craze bigger than ever, and the 'Grain to Glass' curiosity of the punter, the making of the beer, the story behind it all, is all part of the craft beer experience.
You're guaranteed to get plenty of that at the birthday celebrations. So be sure to look out for all the details.
Lighting up the Ormeau Road
So I reckon this place will be sticking around longer than its predecessors. here's why…
- Great Food - wings are a must.
- Mix of Music - funk, reggae, electro-pop and even a bit of grunge all while we were there.
- Excellent Events Planned - Meet the brewer, pub quiz and tasting nights all on the way.
- Loads of Offers - on both food and drink, plus 2 for 1s on Ohh Social.
- Pool Table - nuff said, actually, Fusbol table on the way, nuff said now.
- And more craft beer than you could shake a bottling wand at.
Head to the Ormeau Road and see for yourself soon!
Northern Lights Belfast - Gallery
Ohh Social invited me to Northern Lights and gifted the meal and drinks. Thanks to them, and to Sinead and team at Northern Lights for being excellent hosts.
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“I grew up and live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. On my blog, I share with you my huge passion for Northern Ireland food and drink, along with the odd ramble about anything else that happened to come to mind!”