Galway has been going through something of a gin renaissance in recent years, and Hyde Bar has been on the edge of that with their unmatched collection of gins and master classes to show people just how much variety there is to this popular spirit.
Since opening in May 2018, Hyde Bar has been building an unmatched collection of gins for enthusiasts, with their signature Gin Bible now stocked with over 500 different options to choose from.
That might seem daunting, but the dedicated staff at Hyde Bar are helping to ease people into the variety of flavours on offer with their gin master classes.
Pa Burke, manager of Hyde Bar and Gin Parlour, said that when they opened last year they saw a gap in the market for people who wanted to learn a bit more for themselves, enjoy a god time with their friends, and get some great drinks out of it.
“Because we have the largest selections of gin, certainly on this side of the country, we thought it would be important just to showcase some of the gins that we do have, their different taste profiles”.
This is all happening now because of a changing attitude towards gin, Pa suggests. “There’s was always a stigma with gin, about it being mother’s ruin and the like, that dates back to the 1800s when there was a lot of propaganda against gin”.
“Fast forward to today with the upsurge in gin that began when Hendricks first came on the scene, to even now in Ireland when Gunpowder came on the scene, it’s all about distinctive branding and distinctive flavours.”
Pa doesn’t think that this popular streak is going to end any time soon, “especially when you see the likes of Beefeater releasing a pink gin which is not really for gin drinkers, it’s more for introductory level”.
Each master class at Hyde Bar features three premium gins paired with carefully chosen tonic that creates a flavour all of its own; a cut above the bread and butter of mixed drinks that a G&T is often seen as.
For now, Hyde Bar is pouring “nearly exclusively” Fever Tree tonics, but before they serve anything Pa will set some of the staff to “research a couple of gins each week and research what goes well with them.
Once they’ve picked out the best combinations, those gins will go out as the bar’s “signature serves.”
Researching what drinks complements one another, the balance of flavours, is an important part of putting these classes together and making recommendations to customers Pa adds.
In the classes themselves groups will generally be served one Irish gin and two that are from Britain or elsewhere, paired with their tonics.
While they’re sampling their drinks the bar staff will be happy to fill people in on some fun facts about gin, and a bit about the history of the drink.
There’s always a mix of what people want in any group Pa admits. Some people are generally interested in the history of gin, and others just want a top notch gin and tonic.
Right now, Pa says, the bar isn’t doing specific food pairings with the different gins, though that’s something that they could be looking to in the future as they continue to tweak and improve on the classes.
But they are served with some of the Hyde’s brunch platters to give groups a bit to nibble on while they’re enjoying the experience.
The Gin Masterclasses cost €20 per person for a 15ml tasting of three premium gins each paired with a separate tonic.
The minimum booking is for two people, and a sharing board can be added for €2 per person when in groups of 6 or more.
On top of the gin masterclasses Hyde Bar also offers cocktail classes that are a great bit of fun Pa says, and give people the chance to try their hand at mixing up some the Hyde’s stellar creations themselves.
It gives the staff a chance to “showcase our talent, our skills, have a bit of craic with the customers and introduce them to some drinks they might not have had before”.
With the cocktail classes staff at Hyde Bar will accommodate the kind of drinks that people want to try to make and enjoy themselves.
Whether you’re leaning towards the light and fruity, or looking for something with a bit more kick, it’s all on the table.
With all of the masterclasses, Pa says that they generally cap the groups at around twenty people, because beyond a certain size the experience starts to suffer for each of the people taking part.
The goal above all else is to ensure that everyone out has a bit of craic and banter between themselves and the bar staff with their drinks, “we don’t take ourselves too seriously” Pa insists.
Part of the craic of the cocktail class, or just ordering a drink at Hyde Bar, is in the sheer showmanship that goes into making a cocktail.
Go to any bar and order a drink that’s even a teeny bit complex and you’ll be treated to a great show, like watching an artist at work.
And all the better because at the end you don’t just get to appreciate how their creation looks, you get to drink the thing yourself.
People love getting to step into that realm that’s usually reserved for the bartender Pa said, getting to go behind the bar themselves and “shake it up in front of their friends”.
The Hyde Bar’s Cocktail masterclasses cost €25 per person and are all served with a sharing board. The minimum booking is for groups of 6 people or more.
The Hyde Bar
Since opening in May 2018, Hyde Bar and Gin Parlour has made a huge impact on the social scene in Galway and further afield.
This multi award winning bar has picked up the ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ and overall ‘Best Global Bar’ prizes in its first year of business at the at Global Bar Awards in 2018.
The massive array of drinks on offer isn’t the only thing that attracts visitors, with people drawn to the bright and stylish decor that breaks from what you expect from a cocktail bar.
The flower draped ceilings, eclectic decorations, and walls decorated with bright murals make Hyde Bar the perfect indoor place to enjoy a drink in the summer sun.
The Greenhouse “Hyde Away” is a beautiful space that can be used as a semiprivate dining and for the Gin master classes.
This commitment to a decor that embraces colour and mad style is part of what make the Hyde one of Galway’s most instagrammable bars.
sponsored by the Connacht Hospitality Group