Completely dating ireland
The lack of a sliding scale of duty is seen as a major obstacle to new breweries entering the market.
The story in Northern Ireland has been much the same, where Bass and Guinness have long enjoyed a duopoly.
Originating in 18th century London, porter became immensely popular in Ireland around 1800.The classic porter strength - from the early 18th century up until 1900 - was around 1056º. If you want to get an idea of old-fashioned Irish stout, try Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. You'll notice that in 1840 Guinness Extra Stout was stronger than the current FES.Sources: "Guinness 1886-1939", by Dennison & Mc Donagh, p.Eventually Dublin ousted London as porter capital and by 1900 Irish brewers were exporting huge quantities to England.The extent of this trade can be deduced from the statistics for UK beer imports: with the independence of the Irish Republic these increased from around 50,000 barrels (82,000 hl) a year to 1,500,000 barrels (2,455,000 hl).
It wasn't until the 1990's with the Biddy Early brewpub that anyone dared try again.