When it comes to a day at the Irish Pub, there’s a few things we all know – we’re going to have good food, good drinks, and most importantly – a good time. But Irish Pubs are rich in history (and hops), so we wanted to share 4 things that you may not know about them.
What’s in a name?
Ever notice how Irish Pubs tend to have a name above them - well, that wasn’t always by choice. A piece of legislation passed in 1872 made having the owner’s name above the front door a legal requirement. Of course, family pride and tradition are often abundant in business so this law soon became a legacy in practice, resulting in generations to come carrying on the tradition.
The Party Used to Never Stop
How about a little history? There was this thing called The Brehon Law, which was ancient native Irish law that was generally operational in Gaelic areas until the English conquest of Ireland.
One of its earliest decrees was that each local king was required to have his own bruigu (or brewer) that was to have a “never-dry cauldron, a dwelling on a public road and a welcome to every face”.
Essentially, the pub needed to be a 24/7 endeavor for all those who wanted a fresh pour.
Ice cold beer is one thing… ice-cold bodies? Well, that’s another. Back before the technologies and proper facilities of today existed, pubs were often used as morgues or temporary storage for dead bodies.
The main reason was that beer cellars were often extremely cool and would help slow the decomposition process. Thankfully, this legislation was eventually repealed, but not until 1962.
Pour One for the Traveler
These Irish Laws just keep coming, but this one’s for the nomads. Back in the day, there was a law that said someone was legally entitled to a drink if he or she was more than three miles from their home.
They just had to prove that they had traveled there for a reason other than beer. This law was eventually repealed in 1943.
There's Old...Then there's Sean's Old
Located in heart of Ireland in Athlone, is a pub by the name of Sean's, which is said to be the World's Oldest Pub with its doors opening sometime around 900 A.D. It was officially given that title the Guinness Book of World Records back in 2000 and is remains a major tourist attraction today.
While not necessarily legal, being a part of a lock-in in Ireland is certainly an experience. It's what happens after last call and the bar is locked to all incoming customers leaving just the bar employees and a select group of locals.
The Most Pubs to Go Around
The town of Feakle is the place to be for pub-lovers. Here there is astounding 16.1 people per pub. So, there's always a place to go and it's guaranteed to have a quaint crowd. So, if you're looking for a town where your drinks will always be flowing, look no further than Feakle!
So, this St. Patrick's Day, venture out to your local pub and drop some impressive knowledge over a pint. Sláinte!