It is estimated that three quarters of Liverpool’s population has Irish roots; with some people nicknaming Liverpool as ‘the second capital of Ireland’. That shared cultural history has tied Liverpool and Ireland together.
Whilst local Guinness lovers can’t currently travel to Dublin to visit the home of the famous stout, Punch Tarmey’s, Liverpool’s biggest Irish Bar working closely with Diageo have brought a touch of Ireland to Cains Brewery Village with the installation of a replica of the now iconic St. James Gate. The gates are an impressive sight and are sure to attract people from far and wide looking for a taste of The Emerald Isle in Liverpool.
In the first half of the 19th Century, Liverpool was one of the world’s most thriving ports, awash with money, opportunity and visitors from all over the Globe including from Ireland.
Cains Brewery Village already held strong connections to Ireland through its founder, Robert Cain, who arrived in Liverpool from Ireland with his parents back in the 1820s. He began brewing in around 1848 in the Scotland Road Area, but soon expanded and within 25 years he had established 200 pubs. He extended the Brewery Several times, most notably in 1902, when the landmark redbrick part of The Cains Brewery was constructed.
In the same year the namesake of Punch Tarmey’s, Michael Tarmey, arrived in Liverpool as a champion fighter! He grew up in Ireland and was from a poor family. He was a Bare-Knuckle boxer in Dublin where he earned the nickname ‘Punch’ Tarmey. It was through winning a tournament that he earned the prize of 2 tickets to sail to Liverpool. He spent most of his time here working down the mine & continuing with his Bare-Knuckle fighting. It is this history that inspired Andrew Mikhail, Michael Tarmey’s Great-Grandson, to open an Irish themed bar and is the reason that it has such authentic origins.
Andrew Mikhail says of the new installation:
‘I am incredibly proud of my Irish heritage as are many locals and I am delighted that, working closely with Diageo, we could bring such an iconic landmark to Liverpool. I believe it is important to pay homage to Liverpool’s close links to Dublin’.
The Cains Brewery was once the home of the famous ‘Cains Beer’ and Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group has big plans to bring the award-winning brew back to life in the near future. Andrew continues, ‘We are excited about the future following a difficult time for the industry and we are thrilled to be brewing up plans to bring back both the Cains brand and the famous brewery tours.’
Punch Tarmey’s would normally, this time of year, be in the final stages of planning for their grand St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and although it seems that won’t be possible this year, they look forward to opening the gates for belated celebrations as soon as they are able to.