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.*
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.
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?