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IRISH BEERS

Dublin is a charming, vibrant city full of energetic and friendly people. Irish in general, and Dubliners in particular, love their pubs and daily 1000 publicans serve beer and other refreshments at all hours. To an Irishman the neighbourhood pub is second home and social hangout. Irish palates are discerning, therefore poor quality beer can never be on the market for a long time. Either the brand disappears, or the brewery goes bankrupt!

     Although Ireland’s population is less than four million, brewing makes a large percentage of the industrial output. Much of the Irish beer is exported to the United Kingdom, but substantial quantities also go to the U S A, Canada, and now to European community markets.

     Ireland has a number of breweries, the largest of which is Guinness, walking distance from downtown Dublin. This world famous brewery, established by Arthur Guinness in 1759, then 34 years of age, but confident enough in his business acumen that he leased the land for 9000 years. After more than two centuries, the brewery is still brewing full tilt, attempting to quench the considerable thirst of millions of people not only in Ireland but also throughout the world. Today, Guinness stout is brewed under licence in England, some African countries, and on one island in the Caribbean, to supply the freshest beer possible to these markets.

     Although Guinness has now purchased many other beverage-alcohol companies, the holding company is now called Diageo but each company markets its products independently.

     Stout is a very dark, almost black full-bodied beer with a unique taste. The dark colour comes from the heavily roasted malt. Stouts smell of roasted coffee beans and are refreshingly hopped. Well-brewed stouts are smooth and glide down the throat effortlessly. Oysters on the half shell and Guinness is an excellent food and beer match!

     It is said that somebody somewhere in the world enjoys a Guinness stout every eight seconds, a statistic no other beer can match.
     However, today Guinness also produces Guinness extra stout, Harp Lager, Smithwick’s, Macardle’s and a few other brands.

     If you ever visit Dublin, take a leisurely walk to the brewery. At the end of your visit, you will be treated to two pints of fresh Guinness in their authentic pub.

     Another fine Irish brewery, is Dublin Brewing Company located in the city, literally  a stone’s throw from Guinness across the River Liffy that divides the city. Liam McKenna started the brewery in 1996. Dublin Brewing Company brews four fine beers, two of which (Beckett’s Gold and 1798 Revolution) are available in Ontario. A young Torontonian is this small brewery’s point man. He manages to brew quality beers that made it possible for the establishment to survive the fierce competition. The brewery exports to many EU countries and Canada.

     Smithwick’s in Kilkenny is a small brewery established in 1710 and has been brewing quality beer ever since. It enjoys great popularity in Ireland and export markets, particularly in England where pub goers are known to cherish their beer more than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

     Murphy’s is another small Irish brewery located in the city of Cork producing a fine stout.  It is popular in Ireland and exports to numerous markets, particularly because it is available in cans.

     However bottles are the ideal vessels for beer. Cans are light, exclude light but help beer oxidize fast. Breweries prefer cans for economic reasons. Connoisseurs choose bottled beer anytime over canned beer, but actually, un-pasteurized or un-micro filtered draught beers taste best.


Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu
 

 

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