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14th Oct 2017

Irish People Had Some Fairly Mad Drinking Habits In The 16th Century


Turns out that beer in the 16th century was as much a staple as bread, with Irish workers in the 1500s drinking a serious amount.

Historian Dr Susan Flavin examined old documents from solider’s rations and household accounts, and discovered that Irish stonemasons had an allowance of a whopping 14 pints of ale a day.

“People drank beer because it was a source of calories, as well as for thirst and social reasons,” Flavin told The Irish Times. “It was seen as good for energy and health, and was thought to have restorative properties.” 

Beer back then was even higher in calories than it is now, with each pint containing 400-500 calories compared to today’s 180-200.

Documents from Dublin Castle also showed that the household staff drank 264,000 pints of beer in 1590 – which equaled eight pints a day per person.

And people say we still have a drinking culture today, eh?

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