St. Patrick’s Day — though more widely celebrated among Americans than Irish people themselves — is synonymous with cold pints and lively pubs. Though we often think of more mainstream pours like Guinness and Magners Original Irish Cider (called Bulmers in Ireland) as authentically Irish, there are several great craft beers brewing on the Emerald Isle.
It’s no surprise that the Irish — masters at brewing great beer — have tapped into the craft beer industry, one that is expected to increase by 13 percent globally between 2020 and 2024, reaching $47.79 billion, according to AP News. While the majority (51 percent) of that growth will take place in the U.S. and Canada, Europe will also experience a significant increase in the forecasted period.
Read on to explore a few notable Irish craft beers that are changing Ireland’s drinking culture one pint at a time.
Metalman Brewing Company
Metalman Brewing Company launched in 2011 when two beer enthusiasts became frustrated with the limited selection of beer options in Ireland. Grainne Walsh and Tim Barber are among some of the first craft brewers in Ireland. They started by contract brewing at a small brewery in Tipperary while building a brewery in Waterford. At the end of 2014, they installed the first canning line at an Irish microbrewery, and cans of Metalman Pale Ale hit the shelves in January 2015. And while the beer has proven a success, it’s not all attributed to the luck of the Irish. As stated on their website, “Making beer is bloody hard work, but dammit it’s a lot of fun!”
Galway Bar Brewery
In a similar origin story to Metalman, Galway Bay Brewery got its start when friends Jason and Niall got fed up with the beer scene in Ireland. In 2009, they opened one of Ireland’s only brewpubs, The Oslo Bar in Salthill, Galway, on Ireland’s west coast. Ten years and three moves later, Galway Bay Brewery’s new home in Oranmore, just outside Galway, is full of space, light, and freedom to expand and experiment. They offer a core range of seven beers and monthly releases from fruity sours to big barrel-aged beers. As stated on their website, “We brew the full spectrum of flavors.”
Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co.
Located in one of Ireland’s most picturesque counties just south of Dublin, Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co. launched in 2014. Its mission is to brew exceptional beers without compromise and with true passion. They pride themselves on being “locally rooted and at one with nature, brewing beers in a sustainable way.” Their new branding brings the wildness of Wicklow to life and encompasses their “Independent by Nature” slogan.
The White Hag
The White Hag is a modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. The company brews innovative and groundbreaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles. While they’re known for their award-winning stouts and IPA’s that make up most of their core range, their sours have been gaining notable traction. Launched in 2013, The White Hag is Sligo’s first brewery in more than 100 years.
Rascals Brewing Company
Rascals Brewing was founded in 2014 by Emma Devlin and Cathal O’Donoghue and was largely inspired by their love for the booming craft beer movement in New Zealand, where they were living and working at the time. Located in Dublin, their brewhouse produces a myriad of eclectic flavors and styles including Chardonnay Saisons, Mint Choc Stouts, to Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake IPAs. Their two flagship beers are Happy Days session pale and Yankee White IPA.
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