Guinness is The Original stout and the Irish take great pride in this …as they should. It’s a great beer. A really magnificent, beautiful beer. It has theatre and presentation like no other. Guinness also has a story. It has a deep history that is as much a part of Irish culture as its food, music and people.
Guinness is one of the most recognizable beers in the business. It is brewed in almost 60 countries and sold in over 120. It is what we call a brand leader and the brand managers over at Diageo (the distributor of the oldest Stout on Earth) tell the story of Guinness through their fantastic ads. Some of the best ads in the business in fact. Thing is, they rarely describe the beer itself. They don’t seem to need to (well, they do but more on that later). Because, even people who claim that they don’t like Guinness, still RESPECT Guinness. Have a Coke and a smile, right?
Check out these ads from this past year. Both tell a story and make you feel something:
Guinness is an experience and our hope is that you experience it every time you walk into Tigín.
It starts with the order. You’ll simply ask for a pint or a jar and there is only 1 option. Guinness. And, as your friends start in on their lagers, your pint will still be sitting in the well, preparing for the 2nd of the two-part pour …and you’ll be perfectly ok with that.
Once your bartender achieves the perfect head, he will rotate your Imperial, 20 ounce pint so that the Guinness label faces you. He will put it down in front of you and again it will sit. You’ll have that moment. You’ll admire.
Over the top? Not to Guinness lovers, adorers, or whatever you want to call us. These steps are all part of what makes it taste so good. Friday evening after work …I swear by it. Coffee drinkers will tell you its the ritual of the morning cup as much as the need for caffeine. It’s kind of like that.
But, it hasn’t always been like that for me. Anyone who knows me, knows I prefer a pale ale style of beer; super cold, carbonated and hoppy. So, a few years back (about 6 years this Christmas to be exact), a co-worker told me to order a pint. Told me to. He told me that if I gave it a couple of tries, he was adamant that I would not only like it, but come to love it. Well, I hemmed and hawed and argued that I was wasting my shift pint experience on his experiment. I felt like this stout was just entirely too heavy, too strong, too warm …too a lot of things. But, since a) I kinda trusted the guy b) my curiosity was peaked, I gave it a go. In the end, I gave it 2 full goes as instructed.
And, now I love it. Like, really love it. And, here’s what I love about it:
Guinness is smooth, never bitter. It’s the nitrogen mix that gives the head its creamy texture. BTW- if it tastes bitter, send it back.
Guinness is cold. It’s always served between 38 – 42 degrees. If your Guinness is warm, send it back
Guinness is NOT heavy. In fact, the “black stuff” is not even black, it’s ruby red. It’s the burger that will stuff you up, not your Guinness.
Guinness is a ‘session beer’. It has a relatively low alcohol by volume at 4.2% so this means that you can have more than 2. More importantly though, you’ll WANT more than 2 (please drink responsibly). FYI – “Stout” was originally referred to a beer’s strength, but eventually shifted toward body and color.
Guinness is low in calories. It has less calories than a glass of OJ, or pretty much any beer worth drinking. My favorite pale ale is a heavy 380 calories per pint. PER PINT. Not Guinness, only 200 calories. And being one of those gals who actually likes to eat AND drink, this little fun fact is pretty sweet!
Now back to those ads. I do think that the brand managers and fancy marketers back in Ireland are missing an opportunity. We’ve been selling Guinness and dispelling the myths about this beautiful brew for a very long time. From the beginning, Tigín was one of the 1st bars to mix bulk nitrogen and Co2 to provide the perfect combo for Guinness and utilize technology to make sure beer stayed cold from the keg to the tap. We have always used a proper branded, 20 ounce, imperial pint. Plus, our freshness standards were the highest …we sent back more beer than any account in our city.
Fast forward to 2014 and I am happy to report Guinness is still our number 1 seller. We STILL get our kegs straight from St James Gate in Dublin, Ireland and we proudly stand behind our pour, one of the best in town.
There is one change at the Pub though that is palpable: Women are drinking a lot of Guinness. Back in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed the 9,000 year lease, I bet he never could have guessed this kind of progress. I’d like to think he’d be proud too. Because Guinness isn’t only for guys. And the woman you see drinking that lovely pint of the dark stuff just might know something you have yet to discover and that the ads never mention …Guinness is the lightest beer you’ll ever truly love.
So if you like beer at all, I encourage you to take a leap of faith and give Guinness a proper try. Next time you are gagging for a beer, order a Guinness. Drink the whole thing. Then, whether its the same night or another, do it again. I have yet to come across a soul who was not converted by the 3rd.