Friday, March 11, 2011

Ask, or you'll never receive...

Since St. Patrick’s Day is in less than a week, I’ve decided to devote a little more time to Irish stouts. While it might not be the biggest drinking day of the year, I’d bet hands down that more stout is consumed this day than any other beer.

The Great Debate: Guinness vs. Everyone Else. Guinness seems to be the staple Irish beer, but I'd rather drink something else. The biggest problem for me is Guinness themselves. As I have said before, I prefer to drink my nitrogenated beer while it is leveling. It’s a personal choice, one that I believe is superior in every way. I have a hard time respecting Guinness as a brand when their website and various ad campaigns promote ruining every pint poured by letting it "settle" and then topping it off. The relatively negative folklore that surrounds this practice is that cheap/poor Irish workers pinching every penny wanted their money’s worth when drinking in the pub. Instead of consuming their beer when it would have been most delicious they'd rather get that extra 0.5 oz of beer in their glasses. Why Guinness chooses to promote the practice is beyond me. While the beer they produce is okay, clearly they don't have taste, or they would have abandoned this and served their beer leveling. Instead, they promote it as if drinking it any other way makes lumps you in with "stupid Americans" that don’t know the proper way to drink Guinness.

When in a bar ordering a beer, take a look at their tap handles. While I would personally prefer trying something craft brewed, the places with craft options are probably pretty credible sources for good beer already. The rest of the bars, that offer an array of bad American beer and that will probably have Guinness as their sole import, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, can benefit from people asking for better beer. While they won’t have it, hopefully it will help down the line and eventually better beer choices will be everywhere. For a regular bar that doesn’t specialize in craft brewed beer, Murphy’s is an easy step towards replacing Guinness. For one, it tastes better than Guinness. It is easily a session beer. It wouldn't be much more expensive or difficult for a bar to offer and would still give them the same profit margins. It's a win-win for everyone. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, ask for a Murphy’s, and maybe next year they’ll actually have it.

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