a store sign Belfast
The Deers Head Belfast

Historic Belfast Brew Pub Changes Name

Is Belfast on your list of places to visit when you get to the island of Ireland?

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The inside of the historic Belfast brew pub The Deer's Head. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

If so, you’ll want to check out the city’s pubs, including one located in its burgeoning Brewery Quarter that started off as a brewery in the late 1700s.

Known as The Deer’s Head, the traditional saloon has had a history of closing and re-opening over its history.

But now, it has gone back to its roots, taking on its original name coupled with a whole new vibe that is sure to attract beer lovers of all stripes.

copper vats historic Belfast brew pub
Copper vats are used in the brewing of beer at the Bell Brewery in Belfast, which is part of The Deer's Head pub. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

The city center’s first modern brewpub features a fully operational craft brewery right in the middle of the bar called Bell’s Brewery.

It is the first historic pub in Belfast to be brought back to its original name.

Read More: 24 Hours in Belfast on a Budget

History of The Deer’s Head

The origins of the historic pub emanate from Bell’s Brewery, which was among the 12 pubs and 4 spirit dealers located on what was known as Bell’s Lane during the late 1700s.

Founded by John Bell, a former wine and spirit merchant, the street name was a nod to Bell’s success as the creator of one of Belfast’s first-known commercial breweries.

the outside of a pub historic Belfast brew pub
The exterior of the historic Belfast brew pub The Deer's Head. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

It is now called Lower Garfield Street, but the owners of The Deer’s Head are passionate about revising what was once Belfast’s thriving brewery quarter.

At the time that Bell was running his brewery, there were several other successful breweries in the neighborhood, including ones on North Street, Royal Avenue, and Smithfield.

As a result, Belfast became the biggest exporter of port in Ireland during the 1800s.

After the Industrial Revolution, the Guinness family established their own brewing business in Dublin, which took the focus off Belfast, with many of its breweries disappearing.

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What to Expect When You Visit

History is all around you in The Deer’s Head, with much of it recounted on its walls.

What will excite beer lovers, however, is the micro-brewery equipment that serves up the first authentic craft beer experience in Belfast.

glasses of beer on a counter historic Belfast brew pub
A selection of beers are available at The Deer's Head in Belfast. Photo: The Deer's Head Facebook.

The pub will serve several rotating specials in addition to its wide selection of beers that include North Star Lager, Black Bull Stout, and Monkey Shaving the Goat IPA, to name a few.

You can even sample several beers to see which one tickles your fancy.

The pub has an upstairs music hall capable of holding up to 200 people, with local blues artists and traditional Irish musicians taking the stage.

A popular ukulele jam session takes place every Wednesday night.

History talks and walking tours are available on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons starting from The Deer’s Head.

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