Perhaps no other country (with the possible exception of Scotland) is so directly associated with its alcoholic beverages.
Guinness beers and ales have been brewed continuously since 1759 when Arthur Guinness set up shop at St. James’s Gate in the heart of Dublin. (The American Revolution was not going to happen for another 17 years!) About 10 million glasses of Guinness stout are drunk around the world every day.
“The light music of whiskey falling into glasses made an agreeable interlude”
James Joyce, 20th Century Irish author in The Dubliners
Irish whiskies are generally characterized by being smoother than most other distilled spirits (they are usually distilled three times), and made in relatively small batches.
Unlike Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey does not strongly characterize itself by the region from which it comes. In fact, there are only three major distilleries still operating in Ireland (Midleton and Cooley in the Republic of Ireland and Old Bushmills in Northern Island. All are relatively close to the sea).