There are two pubs in Ahakista. Most of time is spent in Arundel’s. It is closer and close enough for us to be able take the odd few pints back down the road 100 yards to the Cottage. In fact quite a lot more than a few pints head down that way. All you need is to be careful of are fishermen on the pier who will eye your pint greedily as you walk past and you might be compelled to hand one over.
Christy Moore spotted me one year. He was driving past in a black Lexus and I was carrying a tray of pints. He slowed down, put his head out of the rolled down window and told me to be careful with my precious load.
The other pub is another few hundred yards up the road The Tin Pub next door to Ahakista House. It does what it says on the tin seemingly knocked together with pieces of corrugated iron and wood. It has been given a lick of paint over the last few years but it can still be a dangerous place late on a Saturday evening when there is singing going on in the the corner and dancing outside.
I was in the bar one mid afternoon in summer. It was hot outside and the front door was open to the road. The pub nestles amongst trees and their shade kept the bar cool. I was by myself apart from the dog. Patrick had been working behind the bar but he was outside now sorting bottles from the night before.
The man with a black bear walked in. He nodded at me shortly before putting his arms on the bar. We waited a few minutes and listened to the clink of bottles outside.
‘Patrick’ he shouted ‘I’ll get one myself.’
He went behind the bar and took down a glass and started to pour. ‘Do you need another,’ he asked me. Before I could answer he’d taken down another glass and started to fill that. The glasses were almost filled and he left them to settle. As they did that he went to the corner and put on some music. He then went back to the glasses and filled them until the white head started to spill over. He wiped at the drips with his fingers before lifting the pints up. He put one on a mat in front of me and the other went to where had been standing at the bar.
“You leave it a while’ he said. ‘Let it quiet down. It’ll be better for a few minutes more rest.’. He came back from around the bar and stood next to me.
‘You need to leave it to settle. Its been in that silver barrel and on the back of a lorry from Cork. Now its out in the air give it some time to breathe before you drink it. It will be gone soon enough and then we can bring out some more to air a while.’
He put his arms back down on the bar and set down to wait.