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A Guide For The Un-Initated To
Buying Guinness In a Real Pub.


1 Choose your pub carefully. A pint of Guinness does not appreciate loud music, loud people or bright flashing lights.

2 Ask politely for a pint of Guinness. Depending on the pub, it is possible to catch the barman's eye and mouth the word "pint", he will translate this accurately.

3 The barman will fill the glass between 70% and 80% capacity. It will then be put to the side for a few moments to allow it "to settle". Once the brownish liquid has almost turned to a solid black the barman will then fill the rest of the glass. NB: do not under any circumstances take the glass before it is filled. Some virgins seem to think that the settling stage is the final stage and walk away with an unfinished pint. At this point we Irish DO understand the predicament, but I assure you it causes endless mirth as well.

4 Once you have received your pint, find a comfortable stool or seat, gaze with awe into the deep blackness, raise the pint to your mouth and take a large mouthful. Be firm.

5 A good pint can distinguished by a number of methods. A smooth, slightly off- white head is one, another is the residue left on the inside of the glass. These, surprise surprise, are known as rings. As long as they are there you know you're okay. A science of rings is developing - the instance that comes to mind is determining a persons nationality by the number of rings (a ring is dependent on a swig of Guinness each swig leaving it's own ring). An Irishman will have in the region of 5-6 rings (we pace ourselves), an Englishman will have 8-10 rings, an American will have 17-20 (they sip) and an Australian won't have any at all as they tend to knock it back in one go!

6 As you near the end of your pint, it is the custom to order another one. It is a well known fact that a bird does not fly on one wing.
- Alan Clinton

Guinness Facts

"No other brewery uses as much roasted barley as Guinness, which prepares its own." 

"The brewery...uses several varieties (of hops), among which Goldings are perhaps the most influential."

In an earlier thread, someone claimed that Guinness used hops from Texas. There is no such mention of hops from Texas in MJBC, but I am willing to be convinced. However, the Extra Stout that used to be brewed at the Park Royal Brewery in London used "English and American whole hops"

Guinness "...uses its original yeast, though this has been selected down from several strains to one, which was arrived at in about 1960. It works at high temperatures (around 25'C/77'F), and it is very dispersed, having neither risen to the top nor sunk to the bottom, when it is removed by centrifuge."

"Dublin makes five or six principal versions of Guinness, in a total of 19 variations, and exports around 40 percent of its output."

All the grain used by Guinness is grown in Ireland. The non-malt grains used in the domestic product is 25% flaked barley and 10% roasted barley.

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