Irish Drinking Culture: 20+ Best Phrases To Easily Swallow

Irish drinking culture is notorious. It is famous (infamous if you like) that annually on March 17th, people from all different nationalities come together to celebrate St Patrick’s day. Can you think of another holiday(except for perhaps Christmas) universally celebrated because it’s so fun? Of course, the key ingredient here is alcohol, and it’s hard to imagine people celebrating St Patrick’s day if the beverage of choice was Coca-Cola.

Today, we’ll take a deep dive into Irish drinking habits, exploring its roots, present, and future. But before we do…

Have you been trying to learn Gaelic Irish but just can’t seem to keep up the motivation? Look no further than Ling.

Vocabulary For Irish Alcoholic Drinking And Drink-Related Words

Immerse into the Irish drinking culture with this essential vocabulary.

Beer festivalFéile beoir
Cocktail partyCóisir cocktail
Drinking gameCluiche óil
Drinking glassGloine óil
WhiskeyUisce beatha

Why Do Irish People Drink Alcohol?

Trust me; there are scores and scores of sociologists who have been asking this question since the time of James Joyce and earlier. Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related activities are part and parcel of Irish culture.

The first thing to say is that many Irish people would question that there was a problem. My Irish friends (and let’s be honest, me as well) would say it’s just ‘for the craic.’ As long as you don’t wake up and wash your cornflakes down with Irish whiskey, then there’s no problem. This might be true from a psychological perspective, but I think that nobody is naïve enough to think drinking 436 pints of beer a year (the Irish national average) is good for you.

Identity plays a massive part in the Irish drinking culture, as it does in England, and it is deeply ingrained in the culture. Irish people find something romantic in the idea of the rebellious drunk. Look no further than Peter O’Toole, the legendary actor who drank his way from Belfast to Boston and back again. Why is it we love a hellraiser? Perhaps it reminds us that a little bit of chaos can blow through the areas of our life that have become ossified.

irish bar drinking culture in ireland Irish drinking culture

Other Phrases Related To Drinking In Irish

Alcohol is dangerousTá alcól contúirteach 
Can you call my friend a taxi? She drank too muchAn féidir leat tacsaí a ghlaoch ar mo chara? D’ól sí an iomarca 
Cheers to that!Slán leis sin! 
Could I see the wine list?An bhféadfainn an liosta fíona a fheiceáil? 
Do people in Ireland binge drink?An ólann daoine in Éirinn ragús? 
Do you like beer?An maith leat beoir? 
Do you drink?An ólann tú? 
One more drink pleaseDeoch amháin eile le do thoil 
This is a celebrationIs ceiliúradh é seo 
Would you like your whiskey with ice?Ar mhaith leat d’uisce beatha le leac oighir? 
What is your favourite kind of beer?Cén cineál beorach is fearr leat? 

A History Of Guinness: The Drink That Changed The Alcohol Industry Forever

The most famous Irish drink.

Guinness, the dry English stout, is probably the most famous beer brand in the whole world. (In fact, it’s so famous that my word processor just corrected its spelling- what other beer brand would that happen with?)

The man who started Guinness shares its name. Arthur Guinness was 34 years old when he acquired the now legendary site at St James’ Gate Dublin in the year 1759. Arthur must have been quite the negotiator because he managed to convince the landlord to extend him a 9000-year lease! No, that is not a typo. Nine Thousand years.

Arthur began by brewing a beer known as a porter, which was dark ruby and made of roasted barley.

At that time, most of the beer was coming from England to Ireland; however, Arthur got so good at making porter that he reversed the trend, and Ireland ended up exporting far more beer than it imported.

Time moved on from Arthur, and he passed away at age 78; however, he also passed down his recipe to his children. Through the 19th century, there was a complete unbroken line of brewers stretching from father to son.

And what a spectacular time it was for the business. Guinness benefited massively from the industrial revolution when beer could be produced on a mass scale for the first time and then transported by train to all corners of the world.

But what about the drink that made Guinness famous, the stout that is drunk all around the world? Arthur never got around to making it in his lifetime, but he did do something very similar called a West India oPrter. The West India Porter was much stronger than a traditional porter and gradually evolved into the Guinness we love today.

By 1840 this extra stout is what saw Guinesss explode worldwide.

By 1960 the beer had entered the space age. Guinness began making its extra stout with nitrogen and oxygen, which gives modern Guinness its velvety texture.

Cheers to that!

How To Order A Drink In An Irish Pub

guiness beer in ireland irish beer
Can I have the bill please?An féidir liom an bille a bheith agam le do thoil? 
Can I pay with cash or bank card?An féidir liom íoc le hairgead tirim nó le cárta bainc? 
Can you fill this beer up to the top?An féidir leat an beoir seo a líonadh suas go dtí an barr? 
Could I see the wine list?An bhféadfainn an liosta fíona a fheiceáil? 
Do you have any free tables?An bhfuil aon táblaí saor in aisce agat? 
Do you have an English menu?An bhfuil biachlár Béarla agat? 
Do you have gluten free beer?An bhfuil beoir saor ó ghlútan agat? 
I’d like to order please.Ba mhaith liom a ordú le do thoil. 
I’d like a receipt, pleaseBa mhaith liom admháil, le do thoil 
I’ll have the …, pleaseBeidh an … agam, le do thoil 
May I have a menu, please?An féidir biachlár a bheith agam, le do thoil? 
What do you recommend?Cad a mholann tú? 
Would you like to order?Ar mhaith leat a ordú? 

Learn Irish With Ling

We could go on and on about Irish pub culture, but all good things must come to an end, and we’re draining that metaphorical last half pint of Guinness.

There’s nothing quite like going to one of the hundreds of Irish pubs in Dublin, drinking a pint, and starting up a conversation with one of the locals- all the better if you can do it in Gaelic.

That’s where Ling comes in. As well as being dedicated to bringing you facts about Irish culture, we are also Irish language experts. Ling has an entire course based around a speaking, listening, and vocabulary model that will send you well on your way to being fluent in Gaelic.

If you enjoyed this blog, check out a few others on Ireland, including body parts in Irish and facts about Ireland.

See ya!

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