Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Beer Geek's Most Hated Day

It's coming.

Strings of paper shamrocks.
Kiss Me I'm Irish buttons.
Over-sized, fuzzy leprechaun hats.

Yup, it's coming—this Saturday, in fact—and I've already overheard a few beer related gripes.

"Guinness!" Geeky McAficiando says, "Real Guinness tastes different in Ireland."
Bullshit. Guinness Draught taste like Guinness Draught in Dublin, Des Moines or Dubai.

"Heineken?" asks the pre-eminent beer scholar, Rufus T. Underwear, "Why would you drink a Dutch beer to celebrate Ireland?
Hmm maybe because the bottle is Kelly green—it's kind of a theme on March 17th. Heineken is exploiting the situation to make a profit. That's what companies do. Besides, St. Patrick's Day, in the U.S. has about as much to do with Ireland as leprechauns do with Christmas.

"Green Beer!?" shouts the purists at
Yeah, green beer is fun and festive. You know what's not? People who complain at parties.

Does beer get drank on St Patrick's Day? You bet. Is it mostly fizzy, yellow lager (albeit dyed green)? Yup. Does this in anyway effect craft beer? Nope. St. Patrick's Day is about having fun—whether you're Irish, Irish-American or Nepalese. Go ahead drink Guinness, or Beamish or O'Hara's or dyed-green, American fizzy lager—hell, drink whiskey if you want.

On the 17th, I'll be joining the New York National Guard's, "Fighting Sixty-Ninth", 69th Infantry Regiment, at their Lexington Avenue and 25th Street Armory in the heart of Manhattan. The 69th originally was a nearly all-Irish immigrant regiment, and has led the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade for 161 years. They have been kind enough to invite me down, and I will drink their green, aluminum-bottled Bud Light with glee.

As Stan loves to point out, it's just beer. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day.


  1. Well first off, I must say I do believe that Guinness tastes a bit different over in Ireland than it does stateside.

    Happy st. patrick's day, its just a day to have fun yes drink a green beer and hopefully find some good looking "irish" girls!

    Be a Friend

    1. Do like Chuck D, and don't believe the hype—but good luck with the ladies!

  2. Haha the purist decrying Heineken on St Pats reminds me of that idiot at every Super Bowl party who will proudly tell you they don't follow football but still prattle on about all the rules they would change to make it "better". Happy St. Pats my Nepalese friend! Sliante!

  3. yeah I've heard this claim about Guinness a bunch of times. There's no way to know until you go to Dublin yourself and I'm not doing that anytime soon.

    I think the difference might be due to having it fresh, perhaps unpasteurized? Perhaps on cask? Perhaps with no nitrogen? There's several "versions" of Guinness: draught, extra stout, foreign extra. It's possible there's some kind of Ireland-only version or even a brewery-only version.

    I've met multiple people that swear on their firstborn that Guinness tastes different over there so perhaps there's some truth to it. I'm just not spending thousand of dollars on airfare, hotel, etc to find out.