Guinness, ah the classic Irish stout. I remember the first time I put the dark liquid to my lips, while on a cruise in 2004. Back in those days I was a self-proclaimed "beer hater," yet I couldn't help but appreciate Guinness' unique flavor. I think the real reason I liked it so much was because it isn't as bubbly as other beers, which makes it go down a lot smoother...and it kind of tastes like chocolate and coffee (my only two weaknesses.) Add some alcohol, and you have what I'd call pretty much the best beverage...like a mocha on roids.
My recent infatuation with the brew began when I read an article in the latest Bon Appetit magazine. I'm subscribed to the mag so the article isn't even published online yet, but once it is I will post a link here. The article explains the intricate detailing surrounding the serving and consuming of a pint of Guinness. The whole thing seems ridiculous and superfluous, but for a beer that has been around for so long, perhaps there is some method in this madness.
"'People get emotional about Guinness. Everyone has a story of where their best pint was,' said Master Brewer Fergal Murray. 'That's why we've been around for 250 years. It's not just about the liquid, it's an experience.'"
An experience I had last night. After reading page after page of praise about a beer I hadn't had in three years, I really wanted to try it again. I headed on over to Southside liquors, an adorable and supershady liquor store only about a block from my west campus home. After searching high and low, I realized that Guinness is a pretty exclusive beer and can sometimes be difficult to find. After asking one of the Russian mobsters, who owns the store, whether they had the brew, I was directed to a hidden refrigerator containing only Guinness. "Why a whole fridge for Guinness?" I thought aloud, "They need to be kept extra cold," Vladimir responded. (I'm just guessing at his name, but I think that could be it.) Apparently even the Russians appreciate and respect Guinness' finicky nature.
At only 125 calories for a giant can of Guinness Draught, this seemingly "heavy beer" contains less calories than most light beers. AWESOME.
I got home, and after realizing that I had no pint glasses ("GUINNESS MUST BE SERVED IN A CLEAN, DRY PINT GLASS") I came to the conclusion that there's no way I would be getting the full Guinness experience tonight. I thought for a second and decided that that is okay. I closed my magazine, and took a swig straight from the can.