Lent is a time when many people in Ireland make sacrifice until Easter Sunday. Quite few give up drinking alcohol for several weeks, though some make exception for St. Patrick’s Day.
Lent – not the main reason of falling Guinness
That’s not the main reason of falling Guinness sale (the 2006 figures for Ireland and Britain show a drop of 7%, continuing a trend that began years ago). The scale of the shift from drinking Guinness, which takes its dark colour from the roasted barley, appears even more dramatic given that Ireland has the fastest growing population in the European Union.
Some people blame the trend on the Irish Republic's smoking ban in pubs; others say it has to do with a crackdown on drinking and driving. The main reason, however, is a changing lifestyle as new wealth, new opportunities and immigration transform tastes and drinking habits in Ireland.
Alongside the decline of Guinness, is an increasing appetite for wine, spirits, cider and imported beer. People are drinking more alcohol at home and are mainly choosing wine.
Is the era of Irish pubs filled with Guinness drinkers coming to an end? Probably yes, but let’s hope that even when serving wheat beers from Czech Republic, Chardonney pubs won’t lose their unique and friendly atmosphere.