Ireland is our anchor and however far we stray, it tells all how far we’ve come...
Ireland is an island that has long been associated with the brewing of beer, from the earliest recording of brewing over 5000 years ago, to the diverse landscape of global brands and craft beers.
The first large scale brewers in Ireland were almost entirely monasteries, a melding of two of the pillars of Irish society for years, beer and the church. These monks were extremely learned in the ways of brewing and used all that knowledge to advance brewing in Ireland at speed.
Centuries later brewing is an important element of the heritage of drinks manufacture in Ireland.
- The harp, which serves as the emblem of GUINNESS®, is based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the "O'Neill" or "Brian Boru" - you will notice the same emblem on coinage in the Republic of Ireland but in reverse... Guinness had trademarked the harp symbol in 1876 and the Irish Free State Government of 1922!
- The Heineken brewery in Cork operates on the site of the Lady’s Well brewery founded by James J Murphy in 1856, continuing a proud history of brewing in Cork City.
- Three Irish spirit products hold special protection under a geographical indication or GI: Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream and Irish Poitín. The same special status as Champagne in France.
- Irish whiskey has been distilled in Ireland since the 6th century and is one of the oldest spirit drinks in Europe.
- There are now 45 operational Irish Whiskey and an estimated 37 Irish gin distilleries right across the country.
- There are 8 facilities in Ireland producing Irish Cream and 15 Poitín producers.