Irish Beer – A Brief History

Irish beer

Irish Beer is as old as almost the first beer. In fact when thinking about beer the first two countries that come to my mind are Germany and Ireland. For centuries, Irish people have enjoyed the delicious concoction of beer. From its humble beginnings within the monasteries, where legend has it that St. Patrick himself employed his very own personal brewer, to the arguably most recognizable name in beer, the Guinness Brewery.

Normally a red-ish color, Irish beer is characterized more by its grain build and sweetness rather than its hop profile. This comes from an ancient that problem that now has become tradition. Especially in Ireland’s climate, hops are a hard crop to harvest which is why they were never primarily used in Irish beer recipes. Today, it is much easier to ship hops wherever they need to be, but after centuries of making beer one way, its a tough habit to break.

Today there are still many Irish breweries that export their beers to America. While many of the local breweries that popped up in the 1990s still are not able to send their beer as far, these exports can help provide Americans with the Irish beer taste that helped define it’s own style of beer.


  • Smithwick’s
    This easy drinking beer is from one of the larger factories in Ireland. This Irish red ale is definitely a sweeter beer that captures the Irish style. No matter the time of year or weather, this one will taste great.
  • O’Hara’s
    This brewery can be a little bit harder to find sometimes, but I recommend keeping an eye out for it. They have their very own stout which encompasses more of the traditional Irish style. Especially since it’s winter time and Fort Worth is gearing up for a cold February, keep an eye out for this one at the store in order to stock up.
  • Guinness
    This is an article about Irish beer. Guinness has to be on the list or else the beer gods might do something drastic like take away my love of beer. I can’t have that. Guinness extra stout is not a beer for everyone. It’s creamy taste makes a surprisingly smooth taste. The thing that still shocks me about this beer is that it actually rivals many light beers in terms of calorie count. So for roughly the same calories, you can get much more taste.
  • Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
    Technically a part of the Guinness brewery, this beer is able to be a nice variation of Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale. Very similar in the grain build this beer is brewed as an ale and then fermented as a lager to give it the creamy texture in the name. You get full flavor with a smooth texture that is normally reserved for more stout beer.

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