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1 August 2012

Is Guinness Better in Ireland?

Following a frantic day of meetings in Dublin yesterday, I got an opportunity for a little R&R and decided to answer the question, "Does Guinness taste better in Ireland?" and the only way I felt that I could form an unbiased, true answer was to visit the home of Guinness, The Guinness Storehouse.

After paying online for tickets and making the short trip across Dublin, I arrived at my destination. A short while later I was standing at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass which rises up seven storeys at the heart of Arthur Guiness's brainchild. If full the glass would hold 14.3 million pints and sits on top of the 9000 year lease that Mr Guinness signed on the St. James's Gate Brewery in 1759 and marks the start of the journey.

Fergal Murray, The Master Brewer, then guides you step by step through the brewing process. He describes how the four natural ingredients water, barley, hops and yeast are combined using age old traditions and modern technology to craft the perfect pint of Guinness every time. After you have been educated in the art of production, you are invited to taste a sample of the perfect pint in the taste experience. After all that walking and learning, I had most definitely built up a thirst! I was not disappointed, the taste was exceptional and all the more better for knowing the love and passion that had gone into the alchemy behind the Ireland's favourite Stout.

After the taste experience, you are then taught to pour the perfect pint by a team of experts who have refined this art form through years of research and trials. The system is simple:

It should take exactly 119 seconds and should be served at a temperature of 43 degrees F or 6 degrees C.

1) Hold the glass at exactly at an angle of 45 degrees.
2) Pull or pour your Guinness into the glass until 3/4 full.
3) Allow the beer to settle for 119 seconds until a brilliant white foaming head forms.
4) Continue to pour until the head rises above the rim of the glass.5) Gently lift glass and raise to lips making sure your arm is at an exact 45 degree angle.
6) Hold glass in this position for 5 seconds allowing the aroma into your nostrils.
7) Taste
8) Swallow
9) Enjoy
I will be more than happy to share this with any bar staff who do not adhere to the strict method.

Now knowing the production and "distribution" methodology we were invited to redeem our "free pint" whilst enjoying the amazing City vista's of the Gravity Bar. A truly remarkable experience. Whilst drinking what can only be described at the best pint of Guinness that has ever massaged my taste buds we saw panoramic views of Trinity College, Kilmainham Gaol, Wellington Monument, Croke park, Liberty Hall, The O2 and many more.

So to answer my question, "does Guinness taste better in Ireland," the answer is most definitely yes!


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