Punk in Belfast

An unassuming backstreet location
It seems that the Brewer's House was not the only new pub to open in the province at the end of 2011. As recommended by Ciaran, landlord of the aforementioned, a friend and myself went to investigate Hudson's Bar (@hudsonbar) in Smithfields, Belfast.

Unable to recall the name we gave Ciaran a bell and he confirmed the name. Not one that had previously appeared on our radar.

"Whisky, Ales & Disco"
Its not exactly the busy end of Belfast, dominated by "adult" shops and bric-a-brac. The bar itself is on the site of a former gay club on first site Hudson's seems like many other Northern Irish bars. Gleaming fixtures and fittings, large frontage and door staff. The similarities end there however as once you get over the threshold you sense something different afoot.

Free music
Maybe the fact that its packed full of people and the night is yet young. Or perhaps its the acoustic guitar playing something other than Irish folk-songs. Or perhaps its the Brewdog beer on draught. Yes, you heard correctly, Keg Brewdog beer in Belfast! Punk IPA and 5AM saint to be precise. A chat with the landlord reveals he is a Brewdog shareholder and wanted to be able to drink it on draught in his native country.

Fresh Brewdog
Okay; so its not the cheapest of pints (£4.20 each) but compared to the £3.90 asking price in the Crown and the John Hewitt for Belfast Ale it is worth more. There's a range of bottled beers and Williams Bros Fraoch, also on keg, plus the regular macrobrands and a big whiskey selection.

The food menu seems reasonably priced with big portions, though having already eaten the sampling of the edible delights will have to await a future trip. There's a further two floors that play host to DJ sessions and live bands at various times, but the ground floor bar is the main attraction. Its great to see a healthy mix of young and old, male and female, singles and couples.

I like the fact that they're trying something different and it certainly seems to be working. The Hudson isn't going to remain hidden for long.

In other news I finally visited the Garrick as recommended by a number of bloggers, turns out it was right next to Boojum (my usual burrito destination) all along. D'oh!


  1. The guys in The Vineyard told me about this place having the likes of Punk IPA and Brooklyn Lager in their bottled range, but I didn't know about the BrewDog on keg. I'll be popping in as soon as I get a chance now. Hope it's still there!

    1. It will be, the fonts are installed on the bar and they have all the glassware too

    2. Any Belfast pubs that are essentially craft only? No usual suspects?
      I'm allowing stuff like blue moon as its not a usual suspect.

    3. Not that I know of, this seems to be the first pub with at least some non-local or macro Keg.