Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy – Benjamin Franklin
My first experience with tasting Guinness was at a friends midnight birthday celebrations. The guy loved his beer, and his best bud had procured a can of Guinness. Now this is somewhere way way back when we all had just started working, and we were all newly exposed to
a) Pay-cheques, and b) Huge departmental stores that stocked international liquor
So come midnight, we all sing along the Happy Birthday song, cut the cake, mess up the birthday boy, the guys clink up the cans and we all line up to sip the ambrosiac Guinness, as the guys almost referred to it. I sipped, and almost spat it out. (Don’t hate me, this story gets better!). For the life of me, I could not even imagine the big deal the boys were making about Guinness. It tasted like ash. Give me wheat beer any day, I claimed. They rolled their eyes, and went back to their beloved can.
Cut to 2013..
It’s the Easter break in the UK, and I am on a backpacking trip across Ireland. (All alone for 5 days and that’s a story for another day, laddies!). Anyhow, I am in Dublin, and doing what you are supposed to do. Looking for Leprechaun gold, sipping the Irish coffee, laughing along with the locals, and I can see this land LOVES its Guinness. If you have been to Ireland, you know how much the locals love their ale, and Guinness is like the God of beers for them. It’s not just beer. It’s like super-beer or something.
So I did the touristy thing and signed up for a visit to the Guinness storehouse.The tour area is built like a giant pint glass, and within it there are multiple levels. At each level, you experience a particular stage in the beers life. You start your tour at the bottom of the glass, under which you see the 9000 year lease that Arthur Guinness took on the St James Gate brewery in Dublin. And you end at the top, the Gravity bar which offers you panoramic views of Dublin.
Fun fact: If this pint glass was full, it would hold 14.3 million pints of Guinness.
As part of the tour one gets to learn how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness and then drink it. I was kicked about the pouring but was worried about finishing it. I was thinking where could I find a secret drain to trash it all down. ( I know you all really want to kill me now). So all the tour guides around me kept telling the crowds that nothing could beat the taste of fresh from the tap Guinness and in my head, I am overly smug, and going blech blech and blech! I was just here to kick it off the checklist.
Reached the bar, and listened to the all-important mantra: Tilt the glass, fill it till it’s 3/4th full, wait till the froth settles and then top it up. My turn came up, and I went and poured me some.
Seemed to do a good enough job. And there, I had it, my first pint of freshly poured Guinness ever. Time to sip it and smile with the others.
Ok, here goes… hesitant sip bracing for the ashy taste Hmmm.. that’s not ashy at all.. it’s actually nice..sips a bit more.. this is really yummy.. gulps half of it down Yowzaaa!!!
Where was this all my life? I couldn’t believe I had been in Dublin for a day now and this was the first time I was having it. Just 2 more days here to savour super-fresh Guinness. Gotta step on it right away. (I think I made up for it on the rest of the trip ;) )
I was hooked. And for me, till date, Guinness is the perfect pint of beer I have ever had. And that is the magic of freshly poured Guinness. Got to leave you with a cliche…
I am linking this post to the weekly challenge my friend Pooja has going on in her blog. Head over to her blog to know more about her and her diaries :)
Want to know more about the Guinness storehouse? Visit here
Want more exacting detail on pouring the perfect pint? Click here
And a fellow blogger has written a super wonderful post about Dublin and Guinness specifically. Click here to read more.