IT MIGHT still be a while before we're back in crowded bars, dancing along to whatever trad band or DJ is playing that night.
But we are getting closer-- and outdoor hospitality will certainly be back before too long.
Ireland's weather is notoriously unreliable (see: wet and windy), but publicans across the Emerald Isle can boast some of the best beer gardens and outdoor spaces in the world, thanks in part to Ireland being the first country to ban smoking indoors and business owners getting creative with how to keep smokers happy.
As the government hints that outdoor food and drink could return as early as next month, here's a handy little list about Ireland's best beer gardens, to prepare for the summer ahead-- here's hoping for great weather!
An Pucán, Galway city
An essential stop for a night out in Galway city, An Púcán stuns with a spacious beer garden, pretty lights and great food-- and drink.
101 O'Connell Street, Limerick city
A relatively new bar, 101 O'Connell Street opened in Limerick in 2017 and became an instant hit, thanks to its delicious cocktails and Tikki garden bar which stretches far out the back of the establishment.
The Deep South, Cork city
One of the best ways to spend a sunny day in Cork, The Deep South may look small and unassuming from the outside, but inside is a different world-- especially the massive beer garden found out the back.
Sammy's Bar, Inch County Kerry
It's a bar. On a sandy beach. With the sound of the waves in your ears and the sun in your eyes, and great food and drink to boot. Get the sun cream ready!
Carroll's, Galway city
Carroll's has long been a favourite of Galway locals, but a few years ago it got a complete revamp, and the outside space was transformed into a fantastic sun trap, with a bus selling delicious pizza-- and heated seats for colder nights.
Gings Bar, Carrick-on-Shannon
There's nothing like enjoying a cold beer on a warm day, watching the sun sparkle on the water-- you can find all this and more in Gings Bar, Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim.
The Curragower Bar, Limerick
Sunshine? Check. Cold pint? Check. A view of one of Ireland's most famous and beautiful castles standing proudly across the River Shannon? Check.
Haddington House, Dun Laoghaire
This hotel, restaurant and bar boasts some stunning sea views across Dublin Bay and is the best place to park up and relax after a walk along Dun Laoghaire's famous pier.
Billy Byrne's, Kilkenny
Colourful decor, shaded areas for the fair-skinned and freckled among us, fantastic food, drink and friendly service-- Billy Byrne's beer garden in Kilkenny is one of the best in Ireland.
Jack Meade's, Waterford
Plenty of outdoor space for the warm days, a glass-covered garden for when it rains, and a playground for the kids to run around in while the adults sip cocktails in the sun-- Jack Meade's has it all.
Beachcomber Bar, Rathmullan County Donegal
Sun, sea, sand, fresh fish and chips and a cold pint-- with one of Donegal's most beautiful beaches in front of you. What's not to like?
The Beach Bar, Sligo
If you're a fan of a bar on the beach, it's a good thing Ireland is full of them-- and Sligo's Beach Bar is among the best. Nestled along the strand of Aughris Head, the Beach Bar has fantastic food, drink, views and service., all found in the traditional thatched cottage.
Tigh Ned, Inis Óirr
You'll have to do a bit of trekking to reach this beautiful beer garden, but it's absolutely worth it. Tigh Ned can be found on Inis Óirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway and Clare.
Step back in time with a visit to Tigh Ned's, surrounded by the scenery of small stone walls, cottages, sparkling sea views and the smell of the sea air all around you. Absolutely not to be missed.