The history of Irish brewing goes back more than five thousand years. It so happened that Ireland’s fertile soil, gentle rain, and calm winds created excellent conditions for growing excellent barley. It was in this area that it was easier and faster to brew beer than other alcoholic drinks. Most pubs originated from local breweries, allowing the beer to be high quality and unique to its area. In this material, we will talk about the origin and development of this culture. If you like more exciting entertainment – try crazy time casino online.
The pub, or as the British call it, boozer, the local rub-a-dub-dub, takes its name from the abbreviation “public house”. The Celts did not invent such brothels; the first ancestors of pubs and alehouses appeared in Great Britain and Ireland with the arrival of the Romans to these lands. Their primary function was drinking and spending the night. The owners of the alehouses attached green branches to poles nearby, which meant that the ale was ready and the alehouse was open to all interested guests and passers-by. Brewing developed rapidly in Ireland during the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. According to legend, the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, could not do without his brewer, a priest named Meskane.
We all know how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated now, mostly with green outfits, lots of beer, and fun. Previously, everything was a little different. On March 17, after mass, women and children hurried home to prepare a festive dinner, which included pork, jacket potatoes, lard, and sweets for the children. Men flocked to pubs to drink a “St. Patrick’s mug” – a pint of beer with a shamrock leaf at the bottom, which, after emptying the mug, had to be spat out over the left shoulder. During and after the festive dinner, people chatted, sang, and, of course, continued to drink.
In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was until recently considered a religious holiday and was celebrated much more modestly than Irish communities did in other countries. So, in the 20th century until the seventies, all pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick’s Day, and the Irish celebrated the holiday with their families at a traditional dinner.
It so happened that Irish monasteries dominated the production and supply of beer for many centuries. The monks called beer liquid bread; they drank it mainly on fasting days. Peasants drank beer in winter for practical purposes since vegetables and other vitamin-containing products were then tough to find and were expensive. At first, travelers preferred to stay in monasteries, but later, the demand for alehouses grew, and at the same time, brewing traditions developed. At a certain point, there were so many drinking establishments that the rulers became worried. By 965, King Edgar issued a decree that there should not be more than one pub in one village to prevent the population from drinking too much.
However, by the early 18th century, Dublin’s population was at least 70,000, with some 1,500 taverns and hundreds of small home breweries producing dozens of beer. In 1869, a law was issued regulating gambling prostitution, including the procedure for obtaining a license to sell alcohol in drinking establishments. The permit required compliance with specific rules: opening the establishment at certain hours, conditions for serving food, and cleaning the premises. Because of this, the number of pubs fell sharply again.
The first Irish brewing company to produce bottom-fermented beer (lager) appeared in Dublin in 1892 – Darty Brewing Co. But it lasted only five years. The second attempt was made by Regal Lager Brewery Ltd. in 1937. It lived a little longer and closed in 1954. Stable lager production began when Guinness began brewing Harp beer at the Great Northern Brewery in Dundalk in the 1950s. Ireland is especially famous for one type of beer: stout. Modern stout is different from what was drunk before World War II. The gravity of classic Porter and stout has decreased significantly over the years. Before the First World War, Irish stouts were made more robust and denser than the beers produced in Great Britain. Over the past 40 years, stouts have steadily lost their audience, but this variety remains the most popular beer in Ireland. Ireland remains the only country in the world where most beer produced is top-fermented beer (ale).
By the way, Guinness first invented bottling beer under pressure from a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the 1960s. The system is ideal for serving stouts and ales. Previously, stout was bottled from two barrels. First, two-thirds of the old and stale stout from the bottom barrel was poured into the glass, and then one-third of the fresh sparkling stout from the top barrel was added.
Ordinary Irish people primarily rely on farming, agriculture, and fishing to make their living. Now, with only 4.5 million people in Ireland, there are about 140 thousand family farms, 1,400 ships that produce up to 300 thousand tons of fish, and up to two million hectares are used for pasture. Well, now imagine that after a long voyage, you finally find yourself in a port. Or got wet in the rain. Or somewhere in the fields, they were chilled to the bone from the chilly wind. It is at such moments that you need friendly company, a warm room, and a glass of whiskey or a pint of beer. And so the Irish pub was born. An Irish pub is neither a bar nor a tavern. Its difference from an ordinary drinking establishment is that it is a house of culture, a place of the latest news, a place of relaxation, and perhaps even a second home for a man. Especially in rural areas, where men simply have no other gathering places.
If you take the average pub somewhere in the Irish wilderness, which has been serving people for at least 50 years, most likely you will see the walls covered with photographs from the life of the village: here is the village’s first football team, here is the bartender smoking the last cigarette in the pub (with 2004, smoking is prohibited in pubs in Ireland), here is independence, here is the owner’s great-grandfather with kegs of beer under a still new sign. The pub is furnished only with wooden furniture, the windows are decorated with frosted and smoky glass so that the light and bustle of the street do not disturb visitors. The interior is decorated with multi-colored glass mosaics. The bar counter of the Irish pub is impressive and is made only of wood.
In the corner where the bar meets the wall (the best place in the pub), the main local drinker is on duty, knowing all the latest rumors and news. He will confirm that coming to the pub “dry” is bad manners and stupid. In addition to beer, the pub also has strong drinks, but why pay more for them when you can drink something strong on the way to the pub? Therefore, most often in the pub, they enjoy the local stout or the usual, but familiar to every Irishman, Guinness. Guinness is, in fact, probably the best thing to happen to Ireland since the mid-18th century, a title that could only be surpassed by Jameson.