Irish Beer: A Pint O’ History

“A long time ago, way back in history, when all there was to drink was nothin’ but cups of tea. Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mopps, and he invented a wonderful drink and he made it out of hops.” If you’ve spent enough time at pubs in Dublin, you’re likely to encounter this drinking song sooner or later. Get it? Charlie Mopps – rhymes with “barley” and “hops”? Ireland celebrates one of world’s most dynamic and longstanding traditions of brewing. In truth, its history dates back millennia before a song was every sung dubbing the mythical “Charlie Mopps” as “the man who invented beer.” Evidence traces the origins of Ireland’s beer culture as early as the Bronze Age. It certainly was around by the time Saint Patrick banished the snakes the Emerald Isle. According to legend, one of Saint Patrick’s close friends was a local priest named Mescan, who also purportedly served as Saint Patrick’s personal brewer. Like the Trappist breweries of Belgium, monastic orders furthered the Irish beer industry. Should you visit Smithwick’s Brewery, you’ll find the medieval ruins of St. Francis Abbey, where monks had been making beer since the Fourteenth Century. If there’s one ingredient you have to remember when drinking Irish beer, it’s barley – and unmalted barley at that. Hops are not native to Ireland and proved difficult to grow there. Thus, brewers were reliant solely on roasted barley to give their beer flavor. Malted barley was taxed in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century, as was coal – a critical resource for producing the in vogue pale ales. The Guinness family capitalized on these constraints, and over two generations settled upon a dark ale created with unmalted barley, which was not prone to the same taxes. The resulting beer was a dry stout , which has since become nearly synonymous with the Irish beer tradition. Ireland has long been heralded as a beer-lover’s Mecca, but the diversity of its beer culture has waxed and waned over the course of the last two centuries. At the beginning on the Nineteenth Century, approximately two hundred breweries dotted the island, but by the turn of the Twentieth Century, only around thirty remained. The Irish beer industry continued to consolidate until the 1980s and 1990s brought a new wave of passionate microbrewers, eager to leave their mark on Ireland’s millennia old tradition. Over the next several decades, those microbreweries paved way for the craft beer movement that has swept the globe, Ireland included. Charlie Mopps may not have invented beer – but he’d be proud of Ireland’s beer scene reinventing itself today. — Bryce Wiatrak Are you celebrating with something Irish this St. Patrick’s Day? We want to see what you’re drinking! Scan the label or search by name to add your tasting notes on Delectable.

Guinness

Original Stout

Whether on the roof of the Guinness brewery overlooking cloudy Dublin, or at the local pub with your best mates, a pint of this magical brew never fails to do its job. The unique juxtaposition of fresh, light, refreshing taste, combined with the the texture, weight and creaminess of a stout is always a pleasant surprise, and one no other beer can replicate. I’m looking forward to throwing a few pints back; on st Patrick’s Day, in front of a roaring fire on a rainy day, or out in the sun. Guinness doesn’t fail. — a year ago

Gautham, Craig and 5 others liked this
Craig Perkins

Craig Perkins Premium Badge

Have a great time in Ireland!

Kilkenny

Irish Cream Ale

Ive had this 3 or 4 times...WOW what a nice creamy ale...had this time with appetizer of Fennal Sausages and Mild Italian Sausages...very nice — 4 years ago

James, Ricardo and 1 other liked this

Guinness

Traditionally Brewed Extra Stout

Strong carbonation and medium hops in the front, relaxing into a soft and mild mid palate, with a big bitter finish. It may not always be my go-to stout, but it's a true classic. Try cooking with it. I'll never make shepherds pie or beef stew again without adding a whole bottle of Guinness. — 4 years ago

leon and James liked this

Galway Bay Brewery

Buried At Sea Chocolate Milk Stout

Good head on this one, or so I'm told! — 3 years ago

Mark and James liked this

Smithwick's

Premium Irish Ale

Now here is a Classic that never goes out of style — 5 years ago

Randall and James liked this

Guinness

Draught Pasteurized Stout

Lots of coffee, caramel, vanilla and toffee on the nose. Very smooth going down with a slap of bitter on the back end. Great beer. — 4 years ago

Randall, leon and 1 other liked this

Carlow Brewing

O'Hara's Irish Stout

An Irish craft Stout a deep, black color with a wispy, tan head. Espresso coffee, roasted malt and chocolate in the aroma. It has a light mouthfeel with a smooth texture. The taste is rich coffee, chocolate and slight wood smoke. •4.5 % ABV• Enjoyed with an appetizer plate of nachos. ~January 3, 2018~ — 2 years ago

DC, Dennis and 11 others liked this
DC Radisson

DC Radisson

You shouldn't be using a Guinness glass... 🍻
Douglas Braun

Douglas Braun Influencer Badge

Delicious new year 👍
Trixie

Trixie

@MaJ CappS Thanks! It is a good stout. Happy New Year to you! 🎊

@DC Radisson Tsk, I know. 😃 I like the pint glasses to drink from.

@Dennis P. Thanks and cheers! 🍺