The truth behind the lure of the pint – and why we Irish love them so

The truth behind the lure of the pint – and why we Irish love them so

A SELF-CONFESSED ‘pint lover’ has challenged herself to explore the allure of the alcoholic drink and why it has become a cultural institution in Ireland.

Ali Dunworth has been on a pint journey, in a bid to learn how and why the simple glass of beer became such a phenomenon on the Emerald Isle.

Ali Dunworth has published A Compendium of Irish Pints (Pics: Mel Mullan)

The journalist, who specialises in food and drinks writing, has published her findings in a new book titled A Compendium of Irish Pints: The Culture, Customs and Craic.

Released this month, it delves into the culture that exists around pints in Ireland.

A Compendium of Irish Pints By Ali Dunworth

Beginning with the birth of beer and traversing through Ireland’s unique drinking journey - from the Brehon Laws to invasions - Dunworth shares why ‘going for a pint’ means so much more than just going for a pint.

No tipple is left unturned in this unique tome, which tackles the significance of everything from the airport and after-work pints to the importance of beer mats, seeking out pints in snugs, discussing hangovers or eating crisps for dinner.

With illustrations by Stephen Heffernan, aka Hephee, the book also covers the etiquette around pints for celebrations and pints for commiserations, festival pints, old man’s pubs and everything in between.

Journalist Dunworth is a self-confessed pint lover (Pics: Mel Mullan)

“A Compendium of Irish Pints is my attempt to capture some of the magic, the lore, the love and the craic of going for pints in Ireland,” Dunworth says.

“I wanted to write about Irish pints as a cultural phenomenon but also write about pints and pubs in the way we actually talk about them and enjoy them,” she explains.

Stephen 'Hephee' Heffernan has provided the illustrations for the book

“From the pint's historic roots to how it’s become a cultural cornerstone in Ireland, it’s full of nostalgia, observations, facts, cosy pubs and clinking glasses,” the author says of the book.

“I hope it offers a snapshot of our current pint and pub culture while acknowledging the challenges our beloved pubs face in a changing landscape.”

Published by Nine Bean Rows, A Compendium of Irish Pints is available from all good bookshops and many independent retailers around Ireland as well as online here.