Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like about Guinness. It’s really pretty, silky from the nitro carbonation, and sometimes I feel like a good roasty stout.
But ask an Irish American, no matter how many generations removerd from the old sod, about Guinness, and you’ll be hit with the most annoying stream of blather since Ross Perot’s campaign speeches. “I don’t drink anything I can see through,” They quip smugly, usually employing a lilting accent painstakingly learned from Lucky Charms commercials. “It’s like water from the Liffey.” I’ve seen the Liffey. I’ve smelled the Liffey. That is not a selling point for Guinness.
And when the Guinness marketing juggernaut ramps up for Saint Patricks Day, friggin’ forget it. Every assclown in Rochester puts on their one green T-shirt, comes out to that fake Irish pub which festers in every city, and proceeds to fill his or herself with a waterbed mattress-worth of Guiness, so they can get their once-a-year intake of Irishness before picking fights with each other and passing out in the path of the parade floats.
I guess it comes down to this. Guinness to me is like the Dave Matthews Band, They’d both be ok if it weren’t for their fans. No wait, I take that back. That braying donkey with an accoustic guitar would suck anyway. I heard, before he hit it big, he was even a shitty bartender.
But to stay on topic, I will order Guinness, but I’d also suggest trying the other Irish stouts which are relatively widespread: Murphy’s and Beamish. You’ll find both are just as beautiful to behold as Guinness, but more robust and complex in character. And if you order them on Saint Patricks Day, the bartender likely won’t know what you’re talking about.
Especially if it’s Dave Fucking Matthews.