Man Up and Chug that…Cider?!

Anyone that has ever ventured a few hundred/thousand kilometers from home knows that drinking patterns are culturally mediated. For instance, bourbon is huge in Australia and the Southern US, and a decent Caesar is nearly impossible to find outside of Canada.

If you take a close look at the hand a drink is in, you’ll also notice the gendered aspects of alcohol preferences. Like coolers and white wine spritzers, cider is one of those drinks that North American men tend to stay away from. It’s not that cider is a “girlie” drink, it’s just not really considered a “manly” drink.*

Mmmm...Bulmers! (Photographed on location in Dublin)

But that is definitely not the case in the Emerald Isle. If you ever find yourself spending an evening in a real Irish pub, take a good look around the joint and notice what the lads have in front of them. Of course you’ll spot some Guinness, but you’ll also find many hands clutching a glass of cider. And of all the available options, Bulmers (served in a pint glass full of ice) would be the one you’d see most often.

So why is cider so popular among Irish men, but passed over by North Americans?  To be honest, I have no idea why this is…but here are a few uneducated guesses:

  • Bulmers is produced in Co. Tipperary (Clonmel to be exact). Why drink an import when you can support the local economy?
  • Bulmers provides sponsorship for numerous sporting events, which tend to have predominantly male viewing audiences.
  • Bulmers pint bottles contain a whopping 568 mls of goodness. No matter how much ice you add to the glass, that’s a decent sized drink for your money.
  • Marketing (isn’t that always one of the answers?).
  • Guinness is basically a meal, and it’s also an acquired taste. Try using it to win a chugging contest.
  • Bulmers is ridiculously easy to drink. On a hot summer day, it can’t be beat.
Magners Original Irish Vintage Cider

Image via Wikipedia

Looking to give Irish cider a go, but don’t plan on visiting its birthplace anytime soon? Take note: outside the Republic of Ireland, Bulmers is sold as Magners. Other than the name on the label, the products are identical. According to their US website, Bulmers only owns the trademark for the name in the Republic of Ireland, so that is why it’s marketed as Magners elsewhere.

*Yeah, I know. Ascribing gendered attributes to inanimate objects is ridiculous. But it’s the way of the world, so what can you do?

4 thoughts on “Man Up and Chug that…Cider?!

  1. The bizarre thing is that in the UK, Magners is Bulmers (they own the name over there). Here in Ireland, Bulmers (the UK one) is Magners. This was not so confusing until the Irish company decided to sponsor the rugby Celtic League to help grow their market share in the UK. It was then played by teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The confusion was typified by a competition run on radio here in Ireland to win a case of Bulmers if you could answer questions about the Magners League.

    The confusion is now over as the sponsor has changed to Rabo Bank. It is now called the Rabo Direct Pro 12. Half a season in and we still refer to it as the Magners.
    Happy New Year,

    • Hi Conor,
      It’s funny that you mention Magners/Bulmers and the Celtic League, because I was doing some research about that exact issue this morning. In this post I was purposely vague about naming specific sports/events because I was confused about which company actually sponsored the Pro 12. I tried to get some clarification from my husband (he’s from Dublin) but he had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently if the sport in question isn’t hurling, he’s not interested!

      Thanks for providing both of us with clarification, and for taking the time to comment!

      All the best from Canada,
      Stephanie (aka Cultural Quirks)

  2. Pingback: Pass the Poutine, Please! « Cultural Quirks

  3. Pingback: All Hail Caesar! « Cultural Quirks

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