Before going to Ireland the first time, my brother Brian found a fantastic article on the round system of buying drinks in Ireland. It is from Irish Fireside entitled Irish Pubs and Etiquette. I found something similar on Matador Network titled Irishmen lecture Americans on pub etiquette. As I already know pub etiquette, this is for anyone who reads this that might come to Ireland. It really is a brilliant system, and it is something I think people should consider adopting here at home and you save yourselves the troubles of splitting the bill and your waiter/waitress the hassle of dealing with you.
If you are not a beer drinker and you like cider, have yourself a Bulmer’s (not too sweet or at all foamy). Otherwise, the national drink is Guinness. Some other Irish brewed beers are Beamish, Murphy’s, Harp, and Smithwick’s, to name a few. Fox News gives good but colorful descriptions of the top 10 Irish brewed beers, more than 1 of which is Guinness.
Before you go to the pubs though, get cash. In fact, have cash available for everything if you don’t have a chip and pin. In my visits, almost no one takes American credit cards except Tesco and Penny’s. The pubs won’t take a card for only one drink either even if they do take cards. So note to yourself– bring cash to the pubs. I am in the process of trying to get a chip and pin from my credit card company but never received clear answers on whether I could or couldn’t…
As a side note for girls, I love that you can go to the pubs in jeans and a tshirt or cute casual top, no judgment. And that you know if they have food or not because they post the menu on the door (food is important to me you will learn). You don’t even have to go in and ask for a menu. If you are going clubbing instead of pubbing, dress up. Doesn’t matter if you are a boy or girl, you dress up. Otherwise, you will be the odd duck in a pond of swans. If you are American, you will stand out even more (they can spot us out easily, even if we haven’t spoken a word).