Irish Beer Week: The Breweries of Ireland

Irish Beer WeekRon Pattinson’s European Beer Guide has the best and most comprehensive listing of Irish breweries that I’ve ever seen. It’s definitive and up-to-date.

Not only does Pattinson give a fantastic list of breweries (and their beers, when applicable), but he’s dug deeply into historic numbers and statistics (which anyone who reads his blog won’t be surprised by) and presented all sorts of interesting data and charts.

Great stuff, made easier no doubt by the fact that Ireland just doesn’t have many breweries:

Unless you’ve spent the last 50 years in a sealed concrete bunker, you’ll be aware of Guinness’s dominance of the Irish brewing scene. Their last Dublin rival (Findlaters) closed in 1949 and by the mid-1960’s they had rounded up the last few stray ale breweries.

The only challenge to total control was in Cork, where the tied house system of Murphy’s and Beamish & Crawford kept Guinness at bay, at least for a while.

Under pressure from their own landlords (who wanted to sell Guinness), the Cork brewers gave up their tied houses in the 1970’s. They soon ran into trouble and were snapped up by foreign globalists, eager to own an "Irish stout" brand. Their stouts are now often easier to find abroad than in their native country.

The only thing missing is a map. Preferably an interactive Google map. But bookmark it anyway.

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