Updated at: 14-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Has the question ‘What is the most popular beer in Ireland?’ ever crossed your mind? With Guinness accounting for over 25% of Irish beer sales, you wouldn’t be alone in assuming it takes the top spot.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the diverse range of delicious brews that quench locals’ thirst and lure countless visitors to Irish shores annually.

Ready to embark on a frothy journey through Ireland’s best beers? Let’s dive in!

Guinness – Ireland’s Iconic Beer

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Ireland’s beer culture would fall flat without mentioning its iconic beverage – Guinness. This storied Irish stout holds a position of prominence in the Irish brewing industry, appealing to both locals and visitors alike through its exquisite smoothness and deep flavor.

With over 25% of beer sales across the country attributed to it, Guinness is undeniably Ireland’s most popular beer.

The popularity of Guinness extends beyond the borders of Ireland, making it one of the most famous beers globally. Produced by Diageo multinational, this richly hued brew has captivated palates not only in traditional Irish pubs but also at numerous St Patrick’s Day celebrations worldwide.

Despite Heineken being crowned as the world’s favorite beer, when it comes to pub culture in Ireland and among staunch lovers of traditional Irish brewing methods and styles, nothing compares to a freshly poured pint of velvety Guinness.

Smithwick’s Irish Ale – A Traditional Favorite

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Smithwick’s Irish Ale is a beloved and traditional favorite among beer enthusiasts in Ireland. Produced by the multinational company Diageo, Smithwick’s has a rich history that dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest breweries in Ireland.

This amber-colored ale holds a special place in Irish beer culture, known for its smooth and malty flavor profile.

Smithwick’s Irish Ale offers a delightful balance of sweetness and bitterness, with notes of caramel and toasted malt shining through.

It has a medium body that is easy to drink, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a more approachable beer.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with classic pub fare like fish and chips or hearty stews, Smithwick’s brings out the best flavors of traditional Irish cuisine.

While Guinness may hold the title as Ireland’s most popular beer overall, Smithwick’s remains a firm favorite amongst locals who appreciate its heritage and distinct taste.

Whether you’re exploring Ireland’s many cozy pubs or enjoying St Patrick’s Day celebrations, grabbing a pint of Smithwick’s is sure to enhance your experience and give you an authentic taste of Ireland’s brewing traditions.

So next time you find yourself in an Irish pub or wanting to try something new from another part of the world at home, don’t miss out on experiencing Smithwick’s Irish Ale – it’s not only a tasty brew but also carries with it centuries of tradition embedded within every sip

Harp Lager – Refreshing and Crisp

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Harp Lager is a popular Irish beer known for its refreshing and crisp taste. Brewed by the Diageo multinational, this lager offers a delightful balance of flavors that appeals to both casual beer drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

With its light golden color and smooth texture, Harp Lager is an ideal choice for those seeking a refreshing beverage on a warm summer’s day or any occasion where you want to unwind with a cold pint.

One of the distinguishing features of Harp Lager is its clean and crisp flavor profile. It has just the right amount of bitterness, which adds depth to each sip without overpowering the palate.

The combination of hops and malt creates a well-rounded taste that leaves you wanting more. Whether enjoyed straight from the bottle or poured into a chilled glass, Harp Lager guarantees an enjoyable drinking experience.

In Ireland’s bustling pub culture, Harp Lager holds its own alongside other iconic beers such as Guinness and Smithwick’s Irish Ale. Its popularity stems not only from its superior quality but also because it reflects Ireland’s rich brewing tradition.

So next time you find yourself in an Irish pub or simply looking to explore new flavors, don’t forget to raise your glass to Harp Lager -a top pick amongst Ireland’s most loved beers!

Kilkenny – Creamy and Smooth

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Kilkenny is a popular Irish beer known for its smooth and creamy texture. Brewed by the Diageo multinational, Kilkenny is often enjoyed alongside traditional pub meals or as a standalone refreshment.

This rich and velvety ale offers drinkers a delightful balance of malty flavors with just a hint of bitterness. Its distinctive red color adds to its visual appeal, making it an inviting choice for those looking to try something unique in the world of Irish beers.

While Guinness may be the reigning king of Irish brews, Kilkenny has carved out its own niche in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. It provides a lighter alternative to stouts like Guinness while still offering that unmistakable Irish taste.

The popularity of Kilkenny extends beyond Ireland’s borders, with many establishments around the world featuring this beloved brand on their menus.

So whether you’re exploring Ireland’s vibrant pub culture or simply want to experience a taste of traditional Irish brewing at home, don’t miss out on trying Kilkenny – a creamy and smooth delight that captures the essence of what makes Irish beer so special.

Other Popular Irish Beers

Murphy’s Irish Stout

Murphy’s Irish Stout is another popular beer enjoyed by the people of Ireland. This rich and velvety stout offers a smooth and robust flavor profile that appeals to both casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

With its dark appearance and creamy texture, Murphy’s Irish Stout provides a satisfying drinking experience. Produced using traditional brewing methods, this stout embodies the essence of Irish beer culture.

While Guinness may dominate the market, Murphy’s remains a beloved choice among those seeking a high-quality, full-bodied brew. Whether enjoyed in cozy pubs or at St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Murphy’s Irish Stout continues to play an important role in Ireland’s thriving beer industry.

Bulmers (Magners) Cider

Bulmers, also known as Magners Cider outside of Ireland, is a popular choice for those looking for a refreshing and crisp drink. Made from apples grown in Irish orchards, this cider has become synonymous with summer evenings and outdoor gatherings.

With its light and fruity taste, Bulmers/Magners Cider offers a delightful alternative to traditional beers. Although not as widely consumed as Guinness or other Irish beers, it still holds its own place in the hearts of many beer enthusiasts in Ireland.

In recent years, Bulmers/Magners Cider has gained popularity globally due to its smooth flavor profile and quality ingredients sourced from local apple farms.

Whether you’re a fan of craft beer or simply looking to try something different during your visit to Ireland, be sure to raise a glass of Bulmers/Magners Cider and savor the crispness that comes with every sip.

Beamish Irish Stout

Beamish Irish Stout is another popular beer choice in Ireland, especially among those who appreciate a rich and full-bodied stout. With its deep, dark color and creamy texture, Beamish offers a smooth and indulgent drinking experience.

Made using traditional Irish brewing techniques, this stout has a robust flavor profile with hints of roasted malt and coffee. While not as widely recognized as Guinness, Beamish holds its own in the world of Irish stouts and continues to be enjoyed by beer enthusiasts across the country.

Its distinct taste adds to the vibrant beer culture found in Irish pubs and makes it a worthwhile option for anyone looking to explore the diverse range of beers that Ireland has to offer.

Galway Hooker

Galway Hooker is an Irish craft beer that has gained popularity in recent years. It is named after the iconic Galway Hooker boats, which were traditionally used for transporting goods along the west coast of Ireland.

This refreshing and flavorful beer is brewed using traditional Irish brewing techniques, giving it a unique taste that appeals to beer enthusiasts.

While not as well-known as Guinness, Galway Hooker has carved out its own niche in the Irish beer market with its quality and authenticity.

Its growing popularity reflects the appreciation for craft beers in Ireland and showcases the diversity of options available to both locals and visitors who want to explore beyond the traditional favorites.

O’Hara’s Irish Red

O’Hara’s Irish Red is a beloved beer among Ireland’s beer enthusiasts. This traditional Irish red ale offers a unique and flavorful experience with its rich amber color and smooth, malty taste.

Brewed by Carlow Brewing Company, O’Hara’s Irish Red is known for its balance of caramel sweetness and mild hop bitterness, making it the perfect choice for those seeking a refreshing pint. With hints of toasted malt and a subtle fruity aroma, this popular Irish beer captures the essence of traditional brewing methods while providing a modern twist.

Whether enjoyed at a local pub or as part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations worldwide, O’Hara’s Irish Red is sure to delight any craft beer enthusiast with its authentic taste and distinctive character.


In conclusion, Ireland’s beer culture is deeply rooted in tradition and the country boasts some of the most iconic beers in the world. From Guinness’ smooth and rich flavor to Smithwick’s classic Irish ale, there is something for every beer enthusiast to enjoy.

So whether you’re visiting an Irish pub or exploring a local brewery, make sure to raise a pint and toast to Ireland’s most popular beers! Cheers!