The long and often inglorious history of St. Patrick's Day outside of Ireland reaches a pinnacle with the Inflatable Irish Pub.
There’s a long and not-always-noble history of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in cultures the Irish fled to during the diaspora. From the green dye in the Chicago River to the plethora of Irish pubs encircling the technicolor wonderland of New York City’s Times Square, the nobility of the Irish people is sometimes reduced during this strange holiday to a plastic parody of Celtic culture.
And now there is this: the inflatable Irish Pub.
As it turns out, the sale and rental of inflatable Irish pubs is a multinational concern. The most prolific enterprise so far is an Irish company called the Inflatable Pub Company, which not only sells and ships these bizarre balloon-like bars but also licenses rental companies across America, Europe, and the Middle East to rent them out. They aren’t cheap, ranging from $2,500 for the 30-person-capacity “Matt Malloy” to $4,800 for the 60-person-capacity “Moe’s Tavern,” plus the cost of shipping to your location. However, the company works with rental partners in locales ranging from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to California’s Silicon Valley in the United States, as well as partners in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Dubai.
The quality of the Inflatable Pub Company’s pubs is pretty good compared to its knockoff competitors. They’re fire-retardant and waterproof, and come with all the ornamentation one might expect — from a fake fireplace to personalized signs.
If you’re in Boston and you really want to go all out, you can contact The Paddy Wagon, a New England-based collective that provides truly full service, in addition to renting customers their very own adult bouncy castle. The Paddy Wagon not only designs customizable drink services for those that prefer Ireland’s own Jameson Irish Whiskey to Ulster’s Bushmills or Harp over Guinness, but the company will, on request, send over corned beef sandwiches, Irish dancers, traditional fiddlers and Irish Wolfhounds. They’ll even teach you to pour a proper pint if you so choose.
So there you have it. Now all you need is a DJ armed with the Dropkick Murphys, the Pogues and Black 47, and you have yourself a party. Just don’t stick the pub with a pin — the sight of your backyard pub flying about like a spent balloon filled with beer-fueled revelers wouldn’t be pretty.