A Perfect Pint

Hi eaters!

It’s been another rainy day in Paris, so I don’t have too many pictures. But I will get around to France soon. Until then…

I fully realize that I’m not longer in the UK and thus that most things that happened there are old news.

BUT, I’ve still got a few UK topics to discuss with you, so think of these next couple of posts like watching ESPN Classic.

Ireland was previously part of the UK, so despite the creation of the Republic of Ireland and the Troubles, they still have one thing in common — their love of Guinness.

A proud pint.

And believe me when I tell you, Guinness from a tap is a world away from Guinness from a bottle. Honestly, from a tap Guinness doesn’t feel like a meal. It’s almost refreshing.

So of course, when Leon and I were in Dublin, we had to go to the Guinness factory for a tour and a pint.

Frankly, the whole tour bit seemed a bit overdone to me. Yeah, it’s great that you use pure spring water to make your beer. Tell me something that I didn’t assume.

The real reason for the tour (because Leon already knows how to make beer and wasn’t too thrilled about sniffing hops) was to drink a free pint in the Gravity Bar, which is a 360 glass bar atop the factory. It has ah-maze-ing views of Dublin (and all these handy descriptions on the glass about what you’re looking at).

And with your ticket you get a free perfectly poured pint.

Yeah, the real thing that I learned on our tour was how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness.

Technically, it’s a 6-step process (and technically it takes 120 seconds to pour), but considering two of those steps are selecting your glass and holding it correctly, I’m going to skip those.

So here goes:

4 Steps to a Perfect Pint (from a bottle, can, or tap)

1) Tilt the glass to a 45 degree angle and pour until the gorgeous, dark liquid has reached about ¾ of the way up the glass.

2) Stop pouring and leave to settle.

  1. Can you see the almost ombre beer?

Settling it very important for a Guinness. This is when the pint turns from amber to black as the nitrogen bubbles cascade down.

Less ombre.

This creates that signature contrast between the dark beer and the creamy head.

3) Once the cascade has stopped, slowly continue pouring into the pint until the head has formed that strong round crown.

Second pour.

4) Now it’s time to sip and savor this magnificent glass-ful of liquid gold.

But first, let’s appreciate a few things.

A little bit left to settle.

After the second pour there will need to be some more settling time, so take the time to look lovingly and longingly on the beautiful of your pint’s evolving colors.

Settled.

Admire the round head that seemingly no other beer can achieve.

After a minute or so, when the cascade has stopped revealing a black beer and a creamy head, it’s time for your first sip.

Now be warned, Guinness is not served ice cold. It’s chilled, but it’s not frigidly refreshing.

Also be warned, your first sip will be pretty much all foamy head. And that’s okay. This isn’t like the foam from some crappy domestic that comes in a 24 pack of cans. This is a really good, flavorful foam.

Don’t fear the foam.

From there, I suggest big sips.

I heard somewhere that a proper (wo)man can drink a Guinness in 7 sips. And if a Guinness is properly poured, the foam leaves thick rings after each sip.

I don’t remember how many sips I drank mine in, but I know that I can drink it in 7 sips no problem. But I rarely do that because I’m a lightweight and because I actually enjoy the different tastes of a Guinness as it warms.

Yes eaters, beer has different flavors depending on its temperature so you should drink it slowly to allow for temperature changes. Or drink a lot at different temperatures, whichever suits you better.

Once you’ve sipped all you can sip, you’ll be left with a puddle of foam at the bottle of your glass.

You’re more than welcome to tilt your glass back and wait as it slowly drips down…but you’ll look a little loony, not to mention that the last foam doesn’t taste all that great.

So leave the foam and show everyone that you can enjoy a perfect pint without getting greedy. You can always order another.

And believe me, eaters, Leon and I drank our fair share of perfect pints of Guinness during our jaunt around Ireland.

Your turn, eaters:

Are you a fan of Guinness?

Are you a fan of beer in general?

G’night eaters!

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