Sunday, 22 August 2010

Irish breweries in 1869

Below is a list of Irish breweries in 1869. Judging by the total number, it looks pretty complete.

It's taken from an almanac written by William Loftus, author of "The Brewer". The book also lists the breweries for the rest of Britain. I'm sure it doesn't include all the homebrew pubs, but it's still dead handy. Thanks to Gary Gilman for finding it.

Irish breweries in 1869
Brewery first name town county
Aldrich & Waters
Limerick Limerick
Anderson Charles Sligo Sligo
Armstrong R Enniskillen Fermanagh
Armstrong A Ballygawley Tyrone
Arnott John and Co Cork Cork
Beamish R. P. and Co Cork Cork
Blake Charles Tuam Galway
Blood John L Dublin Dublin
Brenan Charles Dublin Dublin
Butler Michael Ballymullen Galway
Caffrey J. and Sons Dublin Dublin
Cairns Thos. P Drogheda Louth
Campbell J. and Co Dublin Dublin
Carson J. and Co Londonderry Londonderry
Casey Patrick Drogheda Louth
Cassidy J. A Monasterevin Kildare
Cherry R. and W New Ross Wexford
Cody W. and Co Waterford Waterford
Cuison J. and Co Londonderry Londonderry
Darcy Matthew P Dublin Dublin
Darley Joseph F Bray Wicklow
Darley Joseph F Dublin Dublin
Dawson J. S Lisburn Antrim
Deasy Jane and Co Clonakilty Cork
Dower R Dungarvan Waterford
Egan Henry Tullamore Offaly
Egan John Kilbeggan Westmeath
Ewers William Belfast Antrim
Feehan Richard Carrick-on-Suir Tipperary
Finn Daniel Kilcock Kildare
Fitt Thomas Limerick Limerick
Fitzgerald C Limerick Limerick
Flinn John Limerick Limerick
Goff S. D. and Co Waterford Waterford
Grubb S. and Sons Clogheen Tipperary
Guinness Arthur and Co Dublin Dublin
Henry William Newry Down
Holmes & Hamilton
Strabane Tyrone
Hurley Johanna Bandon Cork
Jameson Henry Dublin Dublin
Johnston James Lurgan Armagh
Johnston John Antrim Antrim
Kiely P. and Sons Waterford Waterford
Kirkman Alfred Fermoy Cork
Lane William Cork Cork
Livingstone W Westport Mayo
McCarthy Dan Skibbereen Cork
McColgan Jas Ballymoney Antrim
McEnery J Newcastle Limerick
Macardle, Moore  Co
Dundalk Louth
Manders Rbt. and Co Dublin Dublin
Manly Henry Tullamore Offaly
Moore John Coleraine Londonderry
Murphy T and Co Clonmel Tipperary
Murphy J. J. and Co Cork Cork
Murray James Mullingar Westmeath
Newtownard's Brewing Co
Newtownards Down
Nugent Sam W Drogheda Louth
Palmer Thomas Galway Galway
Parry Alex. and Co Dublin Dublin
Perry R. G Rathdowney Queen's County
Pirn T. T. and Co Mountmellick Queen's County
Purser B. and Co Dungarvan Waterford
Reily P. and Sons Waterford Waterford
Ring E. F Loughrea Galway
Russell John Downpatrick Down
Scott Henry Belfast Antrim
Smithfield Brewing Co
Belfast Antrim
Smithwick E Kilkenny Kilkenny
Sullivan James Kilkenny Kilkenny
Sullivan and Lee
Bandon Cork
Sweetman Patrick Dublin Fingal
Tighe Thomas Ballinrobe Mayo
Wickham James Wexford Wexford
Wolsey W Castlebellingham Louth
Woods William Birr Offaly
LOFTUS'S ALMANACK FOR Brewers, Distillers, AND THE Wine and Spirit Trades 1869


The Beer Nut said...

What's with the county column? If you're going for the modern county that the brewery is in (eg Laois), the Dublin ones should be "Dublin" for all of them I think. Fingal is the northern administrative part of the former county Dublin but doesn't stretch as far south as the city centre.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, my understanding of Irish counties isn't great. Some of the original entries included the county. For the others, I just typed the place names into Google maps and used the county that gave.

Any corrections are welcome.

The Beer Nut said...

Well, if you change "Laois" to "Queen's County", "Fingal" to "Dublin" and join the Tipperaries up you will, I think, have the counties as they stood in 1869.

Oh, except Lurgan is in my home county of Armagh, not Mayo.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, thanks very much.

I was really pleased to find this list. It has the most Irish breweries I've ever seen.

The Beer Nut said...

Other corrections:
Ballygawley: Co. Tyrone.
New Ross: Co. Wexford.
Ballymoney: Co. Antrim.
Coleraine: Co. Londonderry.

It's a great list. We have a few of them marked on this map, though without the names attached.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, I thought it looked pretty handy. I've found it much harder to dig up information on former Irish breweries than English or Scottish ones.

The Beer Nut said...

A lot of them seemed to have been tiny, short-lived and undocumented affairs. A grocer or wholesaler in tea, butter, bacon etc might do a bit of whiskey bonding, maybe bottle for a big brewery, and then perhaps lash together a brewery in a back room somewhere. They've left very few traces behind.

Ron Pattinson said...

Beer Nut, that they've left so few traces just makes them all the more fascinating.

Do you think I should try asking Guinness again if I can have a peek in their archive? I'd love to see their brewing records.

Gary Gillman said...

Of the names that survive in extant breweries or brand names (or those into the last generation), I recognize only Guinness; Beamish; Murphy; Macardle; Cherry; Perry; Smithwick; Caffrey. I might be conflating Cherry and Perry, but one of them at least was a brand name in the last 50 years, the former I think.

Where is George Lett? Probably the ownership had changed by the 1950's (when it closed, however its productions live on in various license arrangements).

I've always read that beer in Ireland, while of a certain antiquity, was never widespread as a drink. The laurels went to whiskey, or so I've understood. While Guinness's fame cannot be denied, it came relatively late and was an imported style to boot.

I know Arthur Guinness made ale before porter, but what kind of ale? Was that an English inspiration too? The first Guinness was I believe an Anglo-Irish personage, and I wonder if all his brewing ideas came from England.

And yet, the Loftus list counts a respectable number of breweries, but as noted many were probably quite small.


Ron Pattinson said...

Gary, I'm sure that I've got some stats for the number of breweries in Ireland at various points. I just can't seem to find them.

The Beer Nut said...

Good question, Gary. Lett had taken ownership of the Enniscorthy brewery five years previously. I don't know why it wouldn't be in this list.

There are a few brands here which ran well into the 20th century. Blood and Brennan (mispelled in the list) ran, respectively, the Mountjoy and Phoenix breweries. Phoenix had been founded by Daniel O'Connell Jr and was the biggest competitor to Guinness in Dublin. When Guinness bought and closed them, the O'Connell's brand survived until 1926 down the street at the Anchor brewery, listed here as D'Arcy. Mountjoy was the last of the old Dublin independents to close, still turning out Crown-brand Nourishing Stout into the 1950s.

Ron, yes I reckon there's no harm at all asking Diageo for a peek. If they agree I'll happily go in for a preliminary poke round on your behalf.

Thomas Barnes said...

Now all we need to do is discover what sort of beers all these breweries were brewing!

Late 19th and early 20th century Irish brewing seems to be dominated by English beer styles, although the Irish put their own spin on it (Stout > Dry Stout, Porter > Plain, Bitter > Irish Red). I wonder if that was the case historically?

Was there ever a truly distinct "Irish Ale"?

Ron Pattinson said...

Thomas, Dry Stout only goes back to the 1950's. Irish Porter and Stout was quite different before then.

Smithwick's was originally supposed to be a Pale Ale. I always think of Irish Red Ale as Keg Bitter.

The Beer Nut said...

As regards a distinct Irish beer, possibly heather ale.

Irish red ale dates from the 1960s at the earliest. And Ron's right: Smithwick's and kegged Bass taste exactly the same -- I checked. I've no idea what you mean by "Porter > Plain".

Gary Gillman said...

Ron, initially I thought the same thing (re Irish Red Ale being essentially a keg beer style) but then I was thinking that George Lett's beer, made at Enniscorthy as Beer Nut has stated, was a red ale. It inspired George Killian's made by Pelforth in Lille and the ditto made by Coors and that is a red sweetish ale, somewhat like the keg style mentioned. (Actually the Coors version is a lager today, is my understanding).

Lett was brewing it in the 1950's, so this must have been a pre-keg beer, presumably cask-conditioned or at least filtered and unpasteurized. So there must have been a red ale type before Smithwick's and that style. I like Smithwick's incidentally, it is one of the few mass-produced ales that has a decent flavour IMO.


The Beer Nut said...

Do you mean the 4.5% ABV Smithwick's brewed for North America? It's one of those beers I'm intensely curious about, like the 6% Guinness Extra Stout. Irish Smithwick's tastes like diluted fizzy water.

I don't think there's any way of knowing what the beer made by Lett's of Enniscorthy was like. I certainly wouldn't take Coors' or Heineken's word that it's somehow related to the modern abomination.