It’s Always Sunny on St. Patrick’s Day for Glenn Howerton

It's an important day for the 47-year-old now that he's in the Irish whiskey business

March 14, 2024 6:18 am
Glenn Howerton holding some Four Walls whiskey.
Glenn Howerton is a funny guy, but he's serious about whiskey.
Four Walls

With the debut of its 15th season in late 2021, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia became the longest-running live-action sitcom in American TV history. Renewed through season 18 but still waiting to shoot the show’s 17th season, the members of The Gang (Charlie, Dennis, Mac, Frank and Sweet Dee) have busied themselves doing other things, including releasing a whiskey.

The spirit-child of decades-long bar buddies Rob McElhenney (Mac), Charlie Day (Charlie) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis), Four Walls is an Irish American whiskey that pays tribute to the four walls that enclose The Gang’s home base in Paddy’s Pub. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, the Four Walls team has been busy promoting their liquid, and Howerton plans to be out and about on March 17, something the 47-year-old has generally stopped doing due to the popularity of It’s Always Sunny.

“St Patrick’s Day has always been an amazing Irish American tradition. Pre-Sunny, it was one of the most fun nights to go out ever. Sadly, I’ve had avoid St. Patrick’s Day for the last 15 years because of the show,” Howerton, who starred in last year’s BlackBerry as brand co-CEO Jim Ballsille, tells InsideHook. “If I want to get bombarded by Sunny fans, all I have to do is step into any Irish pub anywhere. It can get a little overwhelming. It’s a fun day, but now it’s just an absolute shit-show.”

On behalf of Four Walls (“The Better Brown”), Howerton will be making his return to the barroom on Sunday, but his spirit, which is crafted from barrels of grain and malt Irish whiskeys blended with American rye, won’t be the only libation he’ll be imbibing.

“A good Guinness pour is where it’s at. It really makes a difference,” he says. “In my younger days, I didn’t discriminate much and would drink whatever beer was handed to me if I was lucky enough for somebody else to buy it. I had a scheme in college for when I was really broke. I realized if you buy the first pitcher, everybody remembers you bought one and you never have to buy anything for the rest of the night. Once everybody gets tipsy, they forget who bought what when, but they always remember who bought the first pitcher.”

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So will Howerton be pairing his Guinness with a plate of corned beef and cabbage? “It’s gonna sound crazy, but I don’t think I’ve ever had corned beef. I don’t even know what it is,” he says. “I’ve heard the term corned beef many times in my life, but what is it? Beef that’s mixed with corn? What the fuck is that? I don’t wanna offend all the corned beef lovers out there, but I don’t know what the hell it is. It sounds gross, but I’ll try it.”

One thing Howerton does know is what he relies on to prevent hangovers. It is not the fanciest of remedies.

“I don’t get bad hangovers. I don’t know why, but I just stick with like lots of water and electrolytes,” Howerton says. “I drink lots of water while I’m drinking. For every drink I have, I’ll have half a glass of water because the thing that kills me the most is waking up in the middle of the night and feeling like I’m going to die because I could drink a swimming pool. Water and electrolytes. That’s the move. They have all these fancy things you can take pre- and post-drinking now. I haven’t found any of those things work. I don’t think they do shit.”

The water and electrolytes came in handy when McElhenney, Day and Howerton were doing R&D for Four Walls. “It was awesome and I feel like I learned so much. I didn’t realize in the last 20 years I’d been tasting all different kinds of whiskeys, bourbons, ryes and Scotches and Irish whiskeys,” Howerton says. “I’ve been a whiskey explorer. I’m grateful I put in those hours and years of trying all those whiskeys so I could have a strong opinion about what I think is good and what isn’t. I do get my liver checked every so often to make sure I’m alright. So far, so good.”

Somewhat surprisingly, McElhenney, Day and Howerton drank more during R&D for Four Walls than they have on the set of It’s Always Sunny during almost 20 years of filming. “We really don’t drink at all. We’d bust out a couple beers in the early years if we were on location and didn’t have to drive, but nothing too crazy,” he says. “It’s not like people envision. They think we’re just getting blazed in the writer’s room. Nope. It’s a very professional work environment. We did drink a bit during the high school reunion episode [at the end of season 7]. We were in Philly shooting outside St. Joe’s Prep and there are a lot of bloopers for the last scene because we’d gotten into it at that point. One of the reasons we’d had a couple was because we weren’t picked up for season 8 yet, so we didn’t know. For all we knew, that was the last scene we’d ever shoot of the show. I remember getting quite emotional because I really didn’t know. It was so fun and the thought of not being able to do it again was overwhelming, especially after a couple of beers.”

Howerton and the rest of the The Gang need not have worried, as there are at least two seasons of It’s Always Sunny left to come — and maybe more. Even if Sunny is limited to two more years, more whiskey is on the way.

“Me, Rob and Charlie have maintained a really strong friendship and partnership for over 20 years. That can be extremely difficult,” Howerton says. “I equate us more to band than a show because we write and perform our own material and travel around together. It feels like every year we put out a new album, but a lot of egos can get involved. I’m proud we were able to sort of transpose our personalities into like a whiskey and build something again together. We tend to go all in when we do a thing, which is why we haven’t done too many things. This has been a great way for us to make direct contact with fans of the show and get to experience all the goodwill we’ve built up over the years. There’s just so much love out there for this thing we’ve created.”

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