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Harp Lager was first produced in 1960 in The Great Northern Brewery, Dundalk as a bottled beer, in response to the trend among drinkers in Britain and Ireland toward 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. By 1964 it was being sold on draught and quickly lead its category in 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. He was 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 (2007).
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