1986 advert for Harp Lager ‘Get Sharp to Harp’ featuring the very young Jonathan Ross.
Harp Lager was first produced in 1960 by The Great Northern Brewery, Dundalk, as a bottled beer, in response to the trend among drinkers in Britain and Ireland towards continental lager. By 1961, it was brewed under an alliance of the brewing companies, Courage, Barclay & Simonds, Scottish & Newcastle, Bass, Mitchells & Butlers and Guinness. These companies grouped together under the name of the Harp Lager Ltd. consortium. Coming 1964, it was being sold on draught and quickly lead in its category for sales. Members of the Harp consortium changed over the years, with Courage and Scottish & Newcastle leaving in 1979, but becoming franchisees.
Dr. Herman Muendar, a distinguished German “Braumeister” was chosen to manage the new venture, being eminently suited to the task, having gained considerable experience supervising and directing the re-building of war damaged breweries in the Ruhr area of Germany. And so Harp Lager was born, with the Brian Boru Harp as it emblem. For many years the memorable slogan “Harp stays sharp” was used in advertisements for the Lager. It was written by the advertising executive Rod Allen.
In 2005, Harp saw a makeover. Diageo Ireland separated the brand from Guinness and gave it a new look, with new advertisements appearing on TV. Ironically, there is no longer an actual Harp on the design of the new tins and bottles, as that logo belongs to Guinness. US and Canadian sold bottles still bear the Harp logo (2008).
On the 9th May 2008, Diageo Ireland announced that they are to close the Dundalk Brewery along with the Kilkenny Brewery over a five year period. Thus ending along tradition of Brewing in Dundalk.
Info taken from Wikipedia