The Spire West Coast IPA
Sitting on the former site of Nelson’s Pillar, the Spire climbs 120 metres into the sky giving the entire North side of Dublin a view of its majesty. Initially thought of by locals as an eye sore and modernism gone wrong, the simplicity and beauty of the mottled surface metal behemoth stretching into the sky since 2003 has found it’s place in Dubliners hearts.
An old school style IPA with just enough hop bitterness to remind you that you are drinking an IPA, but it won’t leave you with a sour scrunched up face. A big malty beer with bucketloads of hops and double dry-hopped for a fantastic finish. Notes of citrus lemon prevail. 5.4% ABV. Bottom’s up!
The Spire, or the Monument of Light, is a 120m tall, pin-shaped structure that towers over the center of Dublin’s O’Connell Street. An inescapable titan of the Northside sky, the Spire is a modern Irish icon, standing proudly behind a statue of the Irish socialist republican Jim Larkin.
While it’s now hard to think of Dublin without its Spire, it wasn’t always present as the gargantuan centerpiece of O’Connell Street that we see today. Initially it was Nelson’s Pillar, a colonial stone tribute to British naval hero Horatio Nelson, completed in 1809. In March of 1966, however, the statue was destroyed by an IRA bombing, leaving the city center in sore need of something to capture the sky.
In the 1970s, consideration was given to replacing the pillar with a tribute to Irish revolutionary Padraic Pearse to celebrate his 100th birthday. However, the plans would fall through.
In 1988, Dublin established what was known as ‘The Pillar Project’, a call to creatives and architects to build something that could replace Nelson’s Pillar.
Little progress was seen on making a final decision up until 1998, when an international competition was set up to finally solve the issue. 205 participants put themselves forward and were presented with the following rubric: “The monument shall have a vertical emphasis, an elegant structure of 21st century contemporary design, which shall relate to the quality and scale of O’Connell Street as represented by the late 18th and early 20th century architecture.”
The competition would be won by the London-based architectural firm Ian Ritchie Architects for their iconic Spire design. While expected to be completed by 2000, legal complications and issues with planning permissions rather appropriately delayed its completion until January of 2003.
While initially seen by locals as a modernist nightmare of an eyesore, the simplicity and beauty of the mottled metal behemoth has managed to make its way into Dubliners’ hearts as an irreplaceable part of the Dublin sky.