US brewery makes beer inspired by former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

A US brewery makes a controversial beer dedicated to former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Adams, a pivotal figure in the political life of Ireland for almost 50 years, was the inspiration for “Adam’s Best,” — an “earthy, lightly toasty, traditional Best Bitter” brewed by Chicago-based craft firm Revolution.

Revolution — Illinois’ largest independent craft brewery — was founded by former Goose Island brewer Josh Deth in 2010.

The new beer will be available year round from Revolution’s distribution partners in Illinois.

Adams stepped down from Sinn Fein in February 2018, after 35 years as leader of the party and a career which helped to shape Irish governance in the 21st century.

The 69-year-old Belfast native was elected in 1983, becoming one the island’s foremost figures in republicanism.

Though he is credited with leading the republican movement away from violent protests and towards a democratic, working relationship with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Adams has also been widely criticised for not not condemning murders carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) throughout his political career.

The paramilitary group is believed to be responsible for about 1,700 deaths during more than 30 years of violence, mostly in Northern Ireland, that became known as the Troubles.

The Sinn Féin leader has consistently denied that he was ever a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), but has said he will never “disassociate” himself from the organisation.

Revolution brews around 20 beers per year, including a Eugene Porter, Anti-Hero IPA, and a Cross of Gold Ale — named after The Cross of Gold speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States Representative from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896.

16 Responses to “US brewery makes beer inspired by former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams”

  1. Charles Farrely says:

    ” a pivotal figure in the political life of Ireland for almost 50 years”?

    Please amend to “a divisive figure in Northern Irish (not southern) politics for 50 years where he shot and bombed his way to the top” Thank you.

    And we note that the brew that they’ve named after him is a bitter. How appropriate.

  2. R.Dunseath says:

    I hope that this company is ignorant of what Gerry Adams did, and that is their excuse. If they are aware of what he did, as I am, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Support and money from the US to the IRA was responsible for many deaths in Northern Ireland.

  3. John Smith says:

    Will those who drink it be left with blood in their hands?


    How offensive are Revolution trying to be? No right minded person would want this offering even if paid to drink it….

  5. chris mccgimpsey says:

    Traditional and bitter – how apt. Adams is viewed by all but IRA boosters as an evil man who fuelled the trouble. Sham on this brewery.

  6. David Beattie says:

    Seems to be a fair amount of upset in these comments. Without wanting this to turn in to a republican debate, I think everyone needs to calm down.

    Chicago has a longstanding history with Ireland on account of mass migration. He’s a prominent figure in Irish politics (both side of the border, Charles). Why would they choose to not commemorate him with a beer if his career resonates with them, their community and – more likely – their consumers?

    • Tim Mahoney says:

      @David Beattie – we should “choose to not commemorate him” because he is a former terrorist who played a part in the murder of innocent civilians… Is that reason enough?

      Idiotic stuff from, assumedly, ignorant Americans.

      • David Beattie says:

        @Tim Mahoney – I think the first point to make here is that Gerry Adams was a prominent politician and leader of a legitimate political party for 35 years, irrespective of whether you or anyone likes it or not. Whilst I know this is divisive, the beer is commemorating his political actions and career. It’s from a brewery in Chicago with – presumably – a strong link back to Ireland.

        I suppose backlash is only natural with any political figure from whatever side of the political spectrum you are on. I dare say that there would be someone, somewhere who would take great offence to a beer to commemorate anyone. The point is that this is a beer. That’s it.

        Nobody is forcing anyone to drink it, if you disagree to the person to whom it is dedicated. If it resonates with them and their consumers, why does it matter? Life’s rich tapestry and all that, Tim.

        I think a sweeping statement like ‘ignorant Americans’ isn’t really that constructive on the subject of a beer that you (or I’ll) likely ever encounter in the trade anyway. Or in general for that matter.

  7. Davy says:

    A lot of comments slamming Adams. After years of discrimination and Catholics being treated as second class citizens in their own country, he took a stand. His people love him. He is the pinnacle of what an Irish Republican is.

    • Gary H says:

      A man who lead a ruthless sectarian terror group who murdered, tortured and intimidated his own Catholic community for decades. Stop trying to legitimize his campaign of murder based on pathetic excuses.

  8. Jack Mathieson says:

    David Beatie – of course there is upset in the comments. How upset would Americans be if a British brewer produced a Timothy McVeigh beer, a Boston Marathon bomber beer, or indeed a 9/11 beer. I’m sure you would find the correct weasel words to defend those – NOT!

  9. R.Dunseath says:

    As a second comment, this time on those comments left by two in support of Adams: as someone who had to clear up body parts, including those of a child, following an IRA bomb in 1971 which Adams no doubt had a hand in at least planning and approving, I ask you please do not try to defend his actions, nor treat him as a normal politician. He was drawn into the mainstream political body as a way to stop his organisation murdering more. People are afraid to recall the murders of the IRA in case it upsets the current political situation in Ireland, however these murders should never be forgotten. Please do not try to rewrite history, or at least take the time to read up on what actually happened.

  10. This is an incident in a struggle over normalisation. It is very significant that a brewery should explicitly take the side of those who want it considered normal to celebrate war crimes

  11. Gary H says:

    What kind of sick joke is this? There’s nothing like the taste of burning flesh, blood and the mass murder of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

  12. John harvey says:

    Davy, you obviously know the history of northern ireland…not. One heroic act by this stalwart of Irish republicanism,one of many, the la Mon bombing,when 12 people died ,burned beyond recognition,innocent dog lovers,on the orders of this excuse for humanity. His own comrade in the ira,the “dark” Hughes said Adams have the order.not surprised it’s in chicago,it was probably money from there that financed the bombing, but as MY and Boston discovered,what goes around comes around.

  13. Pa deeney says:

    I think it is time to let people of chicago know that Gerry Adams and Donald Trump are big buddies for over 20 yrs and Donald was at a Sinn Fein fund raiser with Gerry. Up yours Revolution Brewery.

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