On the Road: M’Coul’s Public House

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phirx On the Road: Greensboro, North Carolina

Looking for a good place for supper on an evening leg of our trip through the Piedmont, we stopped in downtown Greensboro on Friday night. It was busy! There was a long wait at Natty Greene’s, whose beer I had hoped to try, but we were able to sit immediately at M’Coul’s a block away. It was a lucky break.

Named for Irish folk hero Finn M’Coul, the restaurant is a traditional pub in Irish style: cozy and friendly.

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There are dining rooms upstairs and down – each with a bar – and there are patios up and down as well. We sat at the bar downstairs, which is a beautiful, classic wooden structure surrounding the wait staff’s work area: there are sixteen taps and a large selection of whiskeys. The upstairs bar features a further eight taps. M’Coul’s features an excellent selection of import and American craft beers on tap and in bottles.

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Since the only Irish beers on tap were the ubiquitous Guiness, Harp, and Smithwick’s, I decided to drink IPAs:

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE: 60 Minute IPA 6 ABV (8)
Bell’s Brewery, MI: Two Hearted Ale (IPA) 7.1 ABV (8)
New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO: Rampant Imperial IPA 8.5 ABV (8)

(phirx ratings) are on a scale of 1-10.

All three beers were fabulous. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is brisk and refreshing. The brewery describes this continuously hopped beer as an “East Coast IPA” although of course the hops are from the Northwest. The delicious nose is full of citrus. Two Hearted Ale, an IPA from Bell’s Brewery in Michigan, was the only one of three I had not had before. It was also my favorite of the night. A single varietal IPA hopped exclusively with Centennial hops from (again) the Pacific Northwest, the nose is delicately floral with hints of grapefruit and pine. New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA is more bitter than the other two, and shows it’s higher ABV with a bit of heat as well. It’s a robust, intense IPA full of complexity from Mosaic, Calypso, and Centennial hops.

The kitchen has a wide selection of traditional pub and Irish fare – we had a Corned Beef Reuben, Fish and Chips, and a Boxty. Everything was excellent! The waitstaff was friendly despite the Friday night bustle, and we even heard some Irish accents in the conversation at the bar.

http://mcoulspub.com

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