Harp Lager is a part of the Guinness Group in Ireland. Harp is also sold overseas in Europe, Australia , Canada, Africa and the USA. (Also called Gold Harp and previously known as Lancer.)
Harp is marketed by Guinness all over the world and today is one of Ireland's most widely consumed beers.
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 to day only about 12.
The first lager brewery in Ireland was set up in Darty in Dublin in 1891, but did not survive very long. Lager was later brewed for a short period in Kells, in the Regal Brewery.
In 1959 the consumpution of lager in Ireland and United Kingdom was five times greater than the 1950's figure elsewhere, and the potential of brewing and marketing lager with a traditional continental character in the islands was realised. In 1959, Harp Lager Brewery (Ireland) Limited acquired the Great Northern Brewery which had been established in Dundalk as an ale and stout brewery in 1897.
Dr. Herman Muendar, a distinguished German "Braumeister" was chosen to manage the new venture. He was eminently suited to the task, having gained considerable experience supervising and directing the re-building of war damaged breweries in the Ruhr area of Germany. And so Harp Lager was born, with the Brian Boru Harp as it emblem.
It was early 1960 that brewing got under way, and by June 1960 the first bottle appeared on sale in Ireland. Today Harp brews a draught lager and, also sells in bottles and cans. There is Harp Export Lager which is a little bit stronger than normal Harp and Gold Harp.