Pubs across Dublin are already doubling their keg orders in preparation for the stream of tourists that will flock to the capital for St Patrick’s Day.
Guinness, traditional Irish foods and whiskeys are still top of the menu on the day, however, pub owners say the bank holiday now begins days in advance.
The Brazen Head on Bridge Street expects to serve more than 2,000 pints on St Patrick’s Day.
It would normally go through about 60 kegs in a week, however, on St Patrick’s Day itself, the pub could go through “at least” 25 kegs, according bar manager Steven Wilson.
The pub will order an extra 200 kegs for St Patrick’s week, mostly made up of Guinness.
“Everybody wants Guinness. We go through everything, but Guinness by far would be our biggest seller,” he said.
Mr Wilson has already started its St Patrick’s week keg orders with 130 kegs delivered on Thursday, double its normal order.
“We build it up over a couple of weeks,” said Mr Wilson. “It has almost doubled this week and next week we will top that up again.”
Working at The Brazen Head for the past 17 years, Mr Wilson said the St Patrick’s rush now lasts the whole week as tourists come over “days in advance”.
“It’s not St Patrick’s Day anymore, it’s the week. It starts on the Wednesday and it will be all weekend, it will be crazy,” he said.
“It will probably be the busiest weekend of the year. Over the last few years there’s been a lot more people travelling for St Patrick’s day. A lot of Americans especially, and Italians and French.
“A lot of people come now for the festival, whereas years ago it would just be local people coming for the parade. Now it’s a global thing and people come from all over to be here,” he added.
The bar manager is expecting St Patrick’s weekend to be busier than last year going by the tourism footfall the pub has seen so far this year.
“We had the busiest January I can remember. Usually in January you could turn off the light and walk away, but this year it was busy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Paul Mangan, co-owner of Devitt’s on Camden Street, said St Patrick’s week is “your second Christmas week”, and they will take in two to three “substantial” keg orders.
“It’s the biggest week of the year, that and Christmas. It’s your second Christmas week. It’ll be big,” he said.
Ireland is set to play Scotland in the Six Nations this Sunday, before taking on England in the Aviva the day after St Patrick’s Day.
As well as rugby, the Cheltenham racing festival will begin on March 14, followed by mothers day on the Sunday, making for a busy week for pubs across the city.
“Cheltenham is one of the biggest weeks of the year. We’ll open the doors at 10am and have people in for breakfast,” said Mr Mangan.
“Guinness is the big one, a lot of Irish whiskeys and Irish food. The traditional dishes will be massive, like Irish stews and fish and chips.
“The international lagers don’t go as much during that week, any Irish branded stuff people stick to,” he said
The pub owner said last year’s St Patrick's Day was “one of the biggest weeks we’ve ever had… everything just fell right”, as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the parade was back for the first time in three years.
“We expect this year to be the same,” said Mr Mangan. “It was hassle free last year and there was a huge garda presence on the street.”
Conan Smith, general manager of the Stag’s Head on Dame Street said the pub will be “doubling up” on orders a couple of weeks in advance of the big day.
“We’ll have to find space anywhere we can for kegs,” he said. “We would be over-estimating, but about 100 kegs of Guinness.”
The bar manager said drink orders would be “90pc Guinness, it’s definitely the busiest day of the year”.
“In the daytime you get more Europeans and Americans, but in the evening you get a nice mix of both locals and tourists,” he said.
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