Ireland. History of the beer route

Irish beer is known worldwide for its rich taste and unusual aromas. As one of Ireland’s iconic products, beer has a long and exciting history.

The first mention of beer production in Ireland dates back to the Iron Age. On the territory of modern Ireland, traces of unique brewing vessels were found that were used by residents to prepare beer more than 2,500 years ago.

However, the real heyday of brewing began in Ireland only in the 11th century, when the country was colonized by the Normans. The Normans quickly appreciated the quality of Irish malt, which started to be exported to Europe. The Normans also brought local brewing to England, where it became popular.

At various times in Irish history, beer has been an element of conflict or a symbol of national unity. For example, in the 19th century, during the Irish National Rebellion, Irish beer was banned from sale in England to deprive local authorities of revenue. Subsequently, the brewing industry in Ireland was localized, and Irish beer became a separate brand rather than part of the English market.

The most famous Irish beer is Guinness. It was created by Arthur Guinness in 1759 and has since become a global brand. However, as well as Guinness, there are many other brands in Ireland, such as Murphy’s, Beamish, Kilkenny and Harp.

Today, beer remains one of the critical products of the Irish economy. According to Verdict Retail, the Irish brewing industry grew by 6.5% in value and 1.6% in production in 2016. At the same time, Irish beer exports account for more than half of production and sales.

Thus, the history of Irish beer is rich and iconic for the country. Irish beer is extremely popular worldwide due to its unique history, impeccable quality, variety of tastes, and aromas. If you want to travel to Ireland to taste beer but don’t have enough money – try playing the casino with 9 masks of fire free.

Irish beers


In 1756, Arthur Guinness founded a brewery, which today only people completely far from the world of alcoholic beverages have never heard of. In 1759, production moved to Dublin. Initially, Guinness brewed ale, but over time, it switched to London porter and stout.

Guinness beer has long been the leader in sales on the local market; it is distinguished by its dense “creamy” structure, rich taste, and bright aftertaste.

Red ale

Most of the ales produced in Ireland are of this style. The drink has a reddish tint and a strength of 3.8-4.4%, although export versions may be stronger. The most famous brand is Smithwick’s from the Diageo brewery. Other popular brands are Rebel Red, O’Hara’s Irish Red, Messrs Maguire Rusty, and Copper Coast.


The first brewery specializing in this style appeared in Dublin in 1891 but lasted briefly. Then the lager entered the Regal Brewery line and since 1968 – Guinness.

Today, imported brands such as Heineken and Amstel occupy the lion’s share of the Irish market.

Craft beer

Craft brewing has been developing in Ireland since the 1990s. Well-known producers: Porterhouse, Hilden Brewery, Carlow Brewing Company, Beoir Chorca Dhuibhne, Galway Hooker, Dungarvan Brewing Company, etc. Many of them receive government grants and funding, as the country actively supports the beer industry.

Prospects for Irish brewing

Despite the popular expression in England: “drinking like an Irishman,” alcohol production in the country is declining. First of all, this is due to the fashion for a healthy lifestyle, and secondly, it is not yet clear how Britain’s exit from the European Union will affect the beer market.

At the same time, beer quality is improving: Irish people drink less but increasingly prefer premium-segment products. The leader of the domestic market is the Diageo Brewery.

How to drink Irish beer

Like neighboring England, Ireland has a strong pub culture. Beer establishments are natural centers of social life; here, they celebrate significant events, spend time with friends and family, gather before and after work, and root for their favorite sports teams.

Pubs have their own rules of behavior. For example:

  • “Circles” If in our country everyone pays for their drinks, then in Ireland, it is customary to buy beer for the whole group at once. Then the next one is “put down”, then another one. And so on in turn, until everyone has treated everyone else. You cannot leave without waiting for your “circle”; accordingly, the larger the company, the drunker the participants are at the end of the party.
  • Tips. This is very rare in pubs, and only if a waiter serves the visitor orders food and his table. The tip amount is at most 5% of the bill.
  • Children. Again, unlike Russia and most European countries, in Ireland and the UK, you can bring children and pets to pubs.
  • Working hours. The vast majority of Irish pubs close at 23.30 on weekdays, at 00.30 on Friday and Saturday, and at 23.00 on Sunday. Some licensed pubs and nightclubs close at 2.30 a.m., but nothing stays open all night. However, many pub owners allow regular customers to stay after closing – behind closed doors, with the lights turned off and the curtains drawn so that from the street, the establishment seems empty.

With the advent of a new generation of microbreweries, the Irish have various brewing products. Dublin-based Porter House, located on Parliament Street, produces porter, stout, and red ale at its brewery. Her Wrestlers XXXX Stout is brewed using a recipe from the long-defunct Deasey’s brewery. This stout was the favorite drink of Michael Collins, founder of the Irish Free State. Finian’s Brewery in Enfield, Co Meath, is named after St. Finian – a monk of the 6th century, canonized. This brewery’s portfolio includes red ale and stout. On the other side of Ireland, in Inagh, County Clare, Biddy Early is a 4.4% stout brewpub.


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