With the introduction of minimum unit pricing, many student drink staples have become more expensive than they’re worth. 

However, a twisted upside is that high-quality, locally sourced options are now approximately as expensive as their cruddier counterparts. So, if we’re going to get squeezed for every cent, why not make sure that money doesn’t just go into the pockets of a soulless multinational like Diageo?

I implore you to make the best of a bad situation and ethically imbibe with these tasty Irish options, all vaguely within the budget of a college student. 



Price-wise, Aldi packs the best punch, which makes it a convenient and cheap place to get a taste for craft beers. If you’re reading this to try out something new, the best place to start is O’Shea’s Pale New Dawn, a super-approachable pale ale. It’s brewed in Ireland and priced at just €1.89 for a 500ml bottle. All of Aldi’s O’Shea’s options are under €4 a litre, making them likely the most affordable and attainable craft option widely available. If you’re only reading this to learn how to get absolutely faded (good for you, king, you’ve earned it), try a Brown Bear Double IPA, brewed by Pearse Lyons in Dundalk. You may baulk at the higher price (500ml for €2.96), but remember, it’s about quality, not quantity. The higher APV will absolutely get you where you want to go in just a few bottles. This makes it a great pre-drinks option, as long as the flavour is up your alley. 


Lidl has an excellent selection of brand-name craft beers, so it’s a great spot to try and scare up bargains on options that would often go for a few euros more in other off-licences. My favourite option I found was Porterhouse’s Rambler Pale Ale, which you could get a healthily sized can of for €2.79. This sweet, approachable option is brewed by Porterhouse, a well-established Dublin craft brewery. For the same price, you can grab a can from BRÚ, a Meath-based independent brewery. They have a couple of fun, funky options, and their Session IPA is a good introduction to the variety. 

Grizzly Hard Seltzer

Outside of the beer market, it’s hard to scare up locally owned and operated brands, especially those within our price range. My favourite option I’ve found so far is Grizzly Hard Seltzer. While I haven’t seen it too often in stores, ordering online gets you 24 cans for €12, making it a great bulk budget option for parties. They’re super-responsive on social media, so you can always try messaging them for other order sizes and discounts. 

NOTE: The College Tribune is not sponsored by any of the above brands. Jack just likes beer. 

Jack McGee – Head of Investigations