PDA

View Full Version : Guinness Question



Kalleh1
08-28-2008, 11:26 AM
My sisters just returned from a trip to Ireland. Marcia likes beer, and we've enjoyed some good brews together. Sarah, on the other hand, has always hated anything I've introduced her to, and reverts to her favorite brew, Miller Lite. I thought she was a lost cause.

However, Marcia tells me Sarah loved the Guinness in Ireland. Apparently they were told that it's so "different" in the U.S. because they must pasteurize it before they ship it over. Is that true? If so, is it true of all other beers from other countries? I love some of the international beers, so I can't imagine this is true.

steveh
08-28-2008, 11:36 AM
1.) Yes, most all imports are pasteurized for export -- mostly for preservative means.

2.) Many draft/kegged versions aren't pasteurized because they're meant to be consumed faster. I don't know if Guinness on tap is pasteurized -- the Munich beer at Uberstein in Chicago definitely is not.

3.) Having been to Dublin twice in the past, one of my main pieces of research was to see if the Guinness tasted different than it does over here. I do not believe it did (at least some years ago). That said, are there taverns in the U.S. that may not care for or serve their Guinness properly? Most assuredly.

Conclusion: Take your sister to a nice Irish spot, such as Chief O'Neill's on Elston, and order a round of Guinness -- see if she likes it as much. If she thinks it's "different," suggest that she's not enjoying the Irish atmosphere as much as she may have in Dublin or Cork. That was the only reason I found the Guinness "better," but live music night at O'Neill's isn't too far off pace.

S.

sammy1759
08-28-2008, 11:50 AM
I have Guinness on tap at home and it is pasterurized and kegged only in 50L kegs. All done at the brewery at St James.

steveh
08-28-2008, 11:56 AM
How did you learn of the Pasteurization?

S.

Fweezle
08-28-2008, 12:08 PM
Went to Ireland back in 2006 with the wife for a little vacation. I made it a point to try Guinness at as many different establishments as possible. I do have to say that Guinness does taste a wee bit different than here in the States. Could it be that it's not pasturized? Possibly. Is it fresher? Most definitly. Plus they tend to serve their pints a warmer temp than here in the states, which I prefer to begin with so over all it was a better pint of Guinness wherever we stopped.

Funny little story...we stopped at a little place in Mitchelstown for the night, second story was the inn, first floor was the pub. Perfect. Me and the bartender spent the night watching the news and drinking pints until I asked him if he had any of "the good stuff". And by good stuff I mean potcheen (Irish moonshine). After 2-3 shots...can't remember - I somehow made it to the staircase to travel it to my room (where my wife was) but not before the bartender made me a rasher biscuit (thick bacon) and told me I'd feel 100% in the morning, which I did. Good times.

steveh
08-28-2008, 12:56 PM
Plus they tend to serve their pints a warmer temp than here in the states,

I noticed the same, even before the mock-trend of ice cold Guinness (2001 was my last visit to Dublin).

But I also have a lot of good places serving very fresh, well-poured pints near me, so I honestly felt there was little difference in flavor between Chicago and Dublin.

S.

Mill Rat
08-28-2008, 07:16 PM
There are two factors that make the most difference. First, it is the care that the publican takes to keep the nitro draft system clean and working right. Second is the volume served. Good sales keep the product fresh and the faucet clean. Good sales actually make it easier for the publican to keep the draft system clean and functioning.

In general I distrust the "we've got XXX number of taps!" joints. I figure any quantity of taps over about two dozen is risking that the more obscure drafts that I might seek don't get the care that would keep ready to serve. There are a probably a few places that are exceptions to this, but unless you've got a staff that is religious about keeping the system cleaned and the stock turned over, the more slow-moving brands would be better represented if served from a bottle than a dusty faucet.

Kalleh1
08-28-2008, 08:57 PM
That is a real good point, Mill Rat. We've noticed at the Yard House, where they have over a 100 on tap, that every so often the beer is off.

My suspicions have been confirmed. Guinness may taste slightly different in Ireland, but if it's poured at a good bar here, it probably isn't much different. Not enough, anyway, to lure a recalcitrant beer drinker (who likes Miller's Lite!) to good beer.

[That sibling rivalry never ends, does it? ;) ]

D0nc0smic
08-28-2008, 10:14 PM
. There are a probably a few places that are exceptions to this, but unless you've got a staff that is religious about keeping the system cleaned and the stock turned over, the more slow-moving brands would be better represented if served from a bottle than a dusty faucet.
I sometimes forget how spoiled visiting the brickskeller and RFD can make a person, a staff religious about beer can be easy to take for granted.

steveh
08-29-2008, 07:00 AM
Not enough, anyway, to lure a recalcitrant beer drinker (who likes Miller's Lite!) to good beer.

Tell her that Guinness Draught and Miller Lite have the same calories and alcohol -- that'll get a conversation going.

S.

MeridianFC
08-29-2008, 07:13 AM
I think the Guinness in Ireland tastes different, but it could just be a freshness issue. We have a few pubs here in DC that move through the stuff quickly and keep their lines in good nick so I think I have a reasonable point of comparison (the Dubliner near Union Station used to be the biggest seller in the US outdoing even places in Boston or NYC). I thought I recalled that the Guinness served in Ireland is not pasteurized.

branlovesbeer
08-30-2008, 01:26 AM
I have Guinness on tap at home and it is pasterurized and kegged only in 50L kegs. All done at the brewery at St James.

Forget what everyone else said... How the heck did you get Guiness on tap at home?

MeridianFC
08-30-2008, 07:43 AM
It's easy, go to your paint store and ask for a keg. You'll need the correct coupler (the "U"), faucet w/ flow restrictor, and mixed gas (75/25 NO2/CO2).

branlovesbeer
08-31-2008, 02:04 PM
No I meant. Where do you actually get a keg of Guiness from? and how much?

MeridianFC
08-31-2008, 05:28 PM
General Wholesale in Spartanburg is the closest I could find to you, give them a call. I haven't lived in SC for years but any beer store that sells kegs should be able to get one for you. The last time I priced it a keg it's around $150.00 give or take depending on your area.

Kalleh1
08-31-2008, 08:48 PM
I just spoke to my sisters, and they insisted that Guinness tastes much different in Ireland than it even does in England. They said that everyone in Ireland and England says that.

However, I believe my realbeer colleagues!

[Edited to correct grammatical error.]

steveh
09-01-2008, 11:01 AM
Insist away they may, have they ever judged a home-brew competition? :)

Here's what you do, and I suggest this for everyone, get a 4 pack each of Guinness Draught and Beemish Irish Stout cans (for fun, you can add Murphy's to the mix, but Guinness and Beemish are closer in flavor). Using some small plastic glasses; the small, clear tumblers used at parties and picnics work best -- or just identical glasses you have at home, pour half-full glasses of both beers (fill a third with one or the other as a control, if you want) and give them to the sisters blind.

Have them taste and sample and take notes -- without discussion between them, and have them try to pick which beer is which. I'll lay good odds that they won't be able to tell, or they'll get lucky with the 50/50 -- which is where the third glass of either adds a good control, and they'll have mixed conclusions.

Beemish and Guinness both lean to a roastier character, while Murphy's is slightly sweeter -- but don't let on until afterward.

S.

noby
09-02-2008, 02:52 AM
Steve, something similar was done recently over on the ICB (http://www.irishcraftbrewer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=36). In O'Neills pints of Guinness, Murphy's Beamish and O'Hara's were blind tasted (there aren't many places with all four on draught). I didn't make it myself, but the results show up some interesting pre-conceptions.

As for Guinness tasting different in England and Ireland, well we're always going to say that, but now that it's all brewed in Dublin it's the English bar staff and turnover that gets the 'blame'.

Fweezle
09-02-2008, 06:26 AM
Steve, something similar was done recently over on the ICB (http://www.irishcraftbrewer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=36). In O'Neills pints of Guinness, Murphy's Beamish and O'Hara's were blind tasted (there aren't many places with all four on draught). I didn't make it myself, but the results show up some interesting pre-conceptions.

As for Guinness tasting different in England and Ireland, well we're always going to say that, but now that it's all brewed in Dublin it's the English bar staff and turnover that gets the 'blame'.

I wish we had a place here locally that had O'Hara's on draft. By far my favorite stout.

steveh
09-02-2008, 07:21 AM
Steve, something similar was done recently over on the irishcraftbrewer.com

That's outstanding research, cheers to A Friend in Mead, pity to Micro Girl and the Beer Nut (not so much of a nut, is he?).

Goes to show what is concluded at the article's end:

People learned that blind tasting is much harder then you would think.

S.

steveh
09-02-2008, 07:27 AM
In O'Neills...

BTW -- how many O'Neill's are there in Dublin? And this pub is just around the corner from one of my favorite Dublin pubs (name not withstanding, but also O'Neill's) on Pearse St. -- at the opposite end of Trinity!

S.

noby
09-02-2008, 07:47 AM
There are several (http://www.dublinpubscene.com/thepubs/pubsdirectory.html#O). This one is worth a visit too. Old pub with plenty of smaller rooms. Does some good food too.

steveh
09-02-2008, 11:40 AM
Hey Noby... do I recognize SBillings on the ICB from somewhere..? ;)

I think some good-natured ribbing is in the future!

S.

steveh
09-02-2008, 11:42 AM
they insisted that Guinness tastes much differently in Ireland than it even does in England.

BTW -- Ms. Wordcraft, how does a Guinness taste differently, interchangeable tongues? :D

Sorry, I just hadda...

S.

Kalleh1
09-02-2008, 01:02 PM
Well, you got me. The worst of it is, I knew it didn't sound right.

My husband always has a cow when people say they "feel badly." I did the same thing!

In my defense, I am not a prescriptivist; I am a descriptivist. :o

steveh
09-02-2008, 01:49 PM
My husband always has a cow when people say they "feel badly."

Well, he ought to speak for himself -- I often feel badly, especially when I'm wearing gloves! :D

S.

Kalleh1
09-02-2008, 03:19 PM
Ken tells a story about a discussion of this in high school, and you can just imagine where that discussion took them. :rolleyes: Because of that, Ken says he will never forget the nuances to the phrase "feel bad."

mttam510
09-02-2008, 03:42 PM
I just spoke to my sisters, and they insisted that Guinness tastes much differently in Ireland than it even does in England. They said that everyone in Ireland and England says that.

However, I believe my realbeer colleagues!


I went over in 2002. I too drank as many pints of Guinness from many different establishments all along the West Coast as well as Dublin and the UK. The Guinness is definitely different between the UK and IRE. I believe that it is the water, as the UK Guinness is not brewed at St. James's gate. I tested this when I left Fishguard, UK and again a couple of hours later in Waterford, IRE. I spoke with quite a few locals (over the course of our two weeks) that had been stateside and they all claimed that the best way to drink it stateside was via the can. The reasoning was that the Guiness entering the cans are brewed and packaged in Dublin.

That being said, I believe that freshness has a major role here as well. When I was in the Aran Islands, I had a pint that was quite foul.....I was pretty sure the lines were contaminated, the beer was 'sour'. One other thing worth noting was the two types of Guinness that was served at most establishments ('reg' and 'extra cold') served @ 5 deg C and 2 deg C respectively.

noby
09-03-2008, 02:31 AM
The Guinness is definitely different between the UK and IRE. I believe that it is the water, as the UK Guinness is not brewed at St. James's gate.

It wasn't then, but all the UK Guinness is brewed in Dublin now. Also, the 'Extra Cold' thing didn't last; like all of Guinness' side ventures it got shelved. Although some bars still like to serve it extra cold, even if it is not branded that way.



Hey Noby... do I recognize SBillings on the ICB from somewhere..?

I'm saying nothing! ;)

Kalleh1
09-04-2008, 05:05 PM
A friend sent me this link (http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/FAQ.aspx#diageo9), which asks the same question that I had posed.

steveh
09-05-2008, 06:59 AM
A friend sent me this link (http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/FAQ.aspx#diageo9),

...and, did you pass it on to the Siblings?

S.