Friday, September 7, 2007

Harp Lager

Harp is a lager style beer whose home brewery is called the Great Northern Brewery and is located in Dundalk, Co. Louth in the Republic of Ireland, which is strategically located about half way between Dublin and Belfast. Harp was first introduced in 1960 as a result of the efforts of a consortium of six different breweries in Ireland and the United Kingdom. During the 1950s, lighter pale lagers from Europe, such as the Dutch Heineken and the Danish Carlsburg had made serious inroads into the markets of Ireland and the UK, nations known for their heavier, darker ales. To answer this challenge, the Dundalk brewery was purchased and a brew-master from Germany, Herman Muenster, was brought in and charged with the task of creating a "continental" style lager using Irish resources. Harp Lager was the result.

Today, there is an element of romance associated with Harp, and that is nearly entirely due to its associations, perceived or real, with the brewing legend Guinness. The fact of the matter is that Harp is less a Guinness product than an acquisition made by Guinness. It is true that Guinness was one of the original six owners that purchased the Great Northern Brewery for the purpose of creating Harp, but it was not involved in the creation of the beer or the management of the brewery. Over the course of time, Guinness did ultimately obtain sole ownership of Harp, and at least in North America, Guinness and Harp were frequently marketed together, leading many to believe that Harp was brewed by Guinness and was actually just a lager version of Guinness. Since the Diageo group purchased Guinness, Guinness and Harp are no longer marketed together, but Harp is still prominently advertised as being "from the brewers of Guinness."

You can read my complete review Harp at Helium by clicking HERE>>>

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