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5 Great Irish Breweries That Aren't Guinness

4. Porterhouse Brewing Bohemia

Some of the greatest upstart brewers have come up in the shadows of brewing giants. New Belgium, Avery and Oskar Blues helped make Colorado a craft beer center despite Coors and, later, MolsonCoors being headquartered right down the road. Schlafly and Urban Chestnut thrive in St. Louis after Anheuser-Busch's merger with InBev.

Since 1989, Porterhouse Brewing has been spreading some of the craft beer spirit around Guinness' backyard by fooling around with Belgian recipes and tweaking beloved Irish styles. Porterhouse has since expanded to a brewery and four brewpubs in Ireland, another brewpub in London and yet another at the New York pub -- Fraunces Tavern -- where George Washington had a few beers with his officers to celebrate their victory over the British.

It hews to tradition only for its Plain Porter, but uses oysters shucked right into the tank to sweeten up its Oyster Stout. It dabbles in pilsner and got Czech brewer Josef Krysel to kick in some Pilsner Urquell Yeast for the brewery's Bohemian Freak Out. Since lager's become so popular in Ireland, as we mentioned before, Porterhouse's lineup now includes its Temple Brau, Chiller and Hersbrucker as a complement to more traditional ales including a red and the borderline-IPA Hop Head.

By cranking up the alcohol content on its strong ales, meeting the country where it's at on lagers and occasionally raiding the American hop pantry for some more extreme styles, Porterhouse continues to take chances in an Irish beer industry known for playing it as safe as possible.

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