Corks, Kegs and Commentary

Events, news and musings from the crew at Hayden Beverage Company. Information on beer, wine and events in the state of Idaho

St. Patty's on the horizon

- Thursday, March 08, 2012

Here in Boise we don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a giant parade or a river that flows green, but plenty of revelers will still take to the pubs and taverns of our fair city to celebrate all things Irish.  There will surely be corned beef and cabbage, a snip of Irish whiskey, and a pint or two of that iconic Irish Stout, the world famous but often misunderstood Guinness Draught.  So if you find yourself hoisting a glass of “the good stuff” at Tom Grainey’s or Ha’Penny Bridge Pub, or even on your living room couch, here are some fun Guinness facts for you to cheers to:

Originally founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, Dublin’s St. James Gate Brewery has evolved into a global enterprise that reaches all corners of the globe, rewarding consumers with more than 10 million pints of Guinness Draught each and every day.

Commonly referred to as “a meal in a glass” because of its rich texture and seemingly opaque appearance, Guinness Draught actually contains fewer calories and less alcohol than Budweiser, Coors and Pabst.  Maybe “a snack in a glass” would be more appropriate?

Guinness is not actually black in color.  Hold your pint up to the light and you will see it is really a distinctive deep ruby red. 

The popular media slogan “Guinness is good for you” now draws an official “no comment” from the owners of the brand, but it still sounds like an excellent health care plan to me.

The distinctive creamy white head on a Draught Guinness comes from Nitrogen gas breaking out of solution as the beer is poured, creating the cascade effect that is the hallmark of a proper pour.  Considering our atmosphere is about 78% Nitrogen, we should have no problem keeping the pints flowing.

In the United States, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, customers may ask for their Guinness to be layered on top of a lighter ale, such as England’s Bass Ale, forming a concoction known as a Black and Tan.  But considering the historical tension between the English and the Irish, purists may prefer to layer with Ireland’s own Harp Lager, better known as the Half and Half. 

Whether you opt for the visual delight of a Half and Half or not, enjoy a pint of Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day, and get a taste of “history in a glass.”


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