Though Ireland is better known for stout, 63% of the beer sold in the country is lager. Stout makes up 32% of the market, with ale the remaining 5%.
Brewing in Ireland has a long history, and by the beginning of the nineteenth century there were over two hundred breweries in the country, fifty-five of them in Dublin. During the nineteenth century the number of breweries fell to about fifty, and today only about 12.
Historically Ireland produced ale, without the use of hops as these are not native to Ireland. Large quantities of hops were imported from England in the 18th century. During the 18th century the Irish parliament used taxation to encourage brewing at the expense of distilling, reasoning that beer was less harmful than whiskey. In the 1760s the Royal Dublin Society offered prizes to brewers who used the most Irish hops and those that produced the most Porter.
Recent years, as many around the world has seen an increase in the number of smaller brewers emerging onto the scene, Porterhouse being one of the leaders.