March 17, 2021
St. Patrick’s Day, which began as a religious holiday commemorating the death of Ireland’s patron saint who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, has grown into a celebration of Irish culture and contributions. It’s typically observed by wearing green attire, eating Irish cuisine and, of course, enjoying an Irish adult beverage.
According to the National Retail Federation, almost half of Americans observe the day in some fashion, though most will be avoiding traditional gatherings because of the pandemic. Still, consumers will spend an estimated $5.1 billion nationwide celebrating Ireland’s favorite saint.
With a nod to the Fortune 1000s headquartered in Ireland – which include consulting and processing services provider Accenture plc (Tii:ACN); fire, HVAC, and security equipment manufacturer Johnson Controls International plc (Tii:JCI) and medical device producer Medtronic plc (Tii:MDT), among others, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will likely involve the country’s beer and spirits industry. Here are a few of the brands that are typically part of the festivities.
No matter what the celebration, odds are it will involve one of the brands under the Diageo plc (Tii:DEO) umbrella. Among its Irish brands is Guinness, which may as well be the official beer of St. Patrick’s Day. In 2017, Fortune estimated 13 million pints of Guinness would be consumed worldwide on the holiday. The brand is so popular with consumers that many travel to the Guinness brewery in Dublin to taste a fresh batch of the brew. Another popular adult beverage on this day is Bailey’s Irish Cream, another Diageo brand. First introduced in 1974, this innovative blend of Irish whiskey, cocoa and cream created the cream-based liqueur industry.
An alternative to Guinness, Murphy’s Stout, first hit the market in 1856, producing the beer from a brewery located on the former site of the Cork Foundling Hospital. Acquired by Heineken N.V. (Tii:HEINY) in 1983, the Dutch brewing company expanded the brand globally. Despite its status as a global brand, Murphy’s remembers its roots. Residents of Cork, Ireland can download Murphy’s When it Rains it Pours app. Every time it rains anywhere in Cork, the app’s users can win a complimentary pint.
With a distillery located in Meath, Ireland, it doesn’t get any more Irish than Slane Irish Whiskey, a blended spirit matured in virgin oak casks. Developed and owned by Brown-Forman Corp. (Tii:BF.B), in partnership with Henry and Alex Conyngham, the distillery was built at the historic Slane Castle Estate in the original stable buildings that date back to the early 1700s. No St. Patrick’s Day celebration would be complete without a shot or two of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Produced by a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard SA (Tii:PDRDY), the distiller now offers several options for the whiskey enthusiast – Jameson Cold Brew, Jameson Black Barrel, Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition and Jameson 18 Years.
The people of Ireland have contributed a fair amount to the world – the hypodermic syringe (invented by Dublin’s Francis Rynd in 1844), color photography (developed by County Offaly’s John Joly in 1894) and the induction coil (created by Father Nicholas Callan, a priest and professor at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth). However you plan to observe Ireland’s contributions and favorite saint, be sure to do it with some of the Emerald Isle’s leading brands.