Annapolis is a small town with a lot of Irish bars, and each year it hosts an “Irish Week” in March — that can last 12 days– and another one in the Fall. It’s a big deal. Yet, there’s barely a mention of the Irish in official Annapolis historical records.

Annapolis began as a British port colony on the Chesapeake Bay in the 1600s. The Irish have always been watermen, so it’s reasonable that the Irish have always been part of the undercurrent of Annapolis commerce.

However, the current crop of pubs is due to more recent immigrants. Galway Bay was started by two Irishmen, Michael Galway and Anthony Clarke, who often hire staff from the Emerald Isles. These same guys own Killarney House, an Irish roadhouse on the outskirts of Annapolis, and Brian Boru which is more of a suburban Irish bar.

These local businessmen are very active in the community and had a key role in developing the town’s Irish Festival, which happens to occur during slow times for the restaurant business in this waterfront town.

However, there’s also this: Annapolis happens to look very much like Irish port villages. Ok, maybe slightly younger. But it has and has drawn Irish ex-pats to live and work here.

The basement pub in Ram’s Head Tavern is often considered rather Irish. But the difference between a British and Irish pub is often the type of beer it serves. Ram’s Head sells its own Fordham craft beer. You judge.

Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD
Ram’s Head Tavern

There are other Annapolis colonial bars serving craft beers — 1747 Pub in Reynolds Tavern & Middleton Tavern — but they’re not quite Irish either.