Bogrolls & Barley Wines
Guinness -- The Myth
Lovely day for a Guinness, MY ARSE!
They have competitions for it; bartenders pride themselves on it; customers expect to see it; it's become part of the Guinness folklore -- what indeed could I be
talking about? Answer -- the two-stage Guinness pour. It's part and parcel of everyday Guinness life. The barman lifts the tap up dispensing the black
stuff into your glass, then stops when the glass is two-thirds full. After a short pause, he (or she) tops up the glass and voila -- the perfect pint of Guinness.
Oh, how we marvel at the sight of millions of little bubbles fighting to propel themselves up the glass to form the creamy head.
There is, of course, a slight hitch to all this: The two-stage Guinness pour is complete and utter of the highest order BOLLOCKS!
Make yourselves comfortable and I'll explain (there's nothing like a good history lesson). Prior to the early1960s, Guinness in Ireland was a good old
fashioned cask-conditioned stout. If you were a country lad (or lass), your Guinness would arrive at your pub via wooden cask in a highly conditioned state,
having been brewed to mature on its journey. The cask would be tapped at the pub and emptied into jugs by gravity before being poured into glasses.
In larger towns and cities, where consumption of the black stuff was greater, the stout was drawn from two barrels. Approximately three-quarters of a pint was
drawn from a cask containing fresh conditioned stout. Once this had settled in the glass, it was topped up with a flatter, somewhat more characterful stout
from the second barrel. Hence, the two-stage pour. Achieving the perfect blend was the sign of a master barman.
Alas, it was not to last. During the 1950s, Guinness had been trying out alternatives to the known and loved version and in 1961 the treachery to its drinkers
was complete with the launch of nitro-kegged Guinness via metal kegs. The two other major Irish Dry Stouts -- Beamish and Murphy's -- soon followed in their
The problem for Guinness was how could they launch the new, inferior version of Guinness without losing its dedicated following. How could they convince the
bloke in the street that nitro-keg stout was as good as cask-conditioned? The answer came in skilled advertising and what in the end became brainwashing
on a George Orwell-ian level. Like Watney's Red Barrel, Guinness launched a mega-marketing campaign to convince Joe Public that the ritual of pausing and
topping up the pint was crucial to the very soul of nitro-keg Guinness, even though the practice had been rendered completely obsolete by the new
And to this very day, consumer confidence in a pint of Guinness demands the myth of a two-stage pour. It is quite simply one of the biggest cons of the last
forty-odd years. The success of the Guinness marketing ensured that by the mid-1960s, cask-conditioned stout of any kind vanished from Ireland and has
remained this way to this very day. As the Guinness empire grew around the world, so did the Guinness nirto-keg stout.
The brainwashing of Guinness nitro-keg produced such dominance in the Irish market, that Irish microbrewers were forced to sell their stouts as nitro-kegged
such is the strength, power and image of Guinness nitro-keg -- and there again, its dominance and grip on the Irish pub trade has limited the number of Irish
microbreweries to just 27 at time of writing. Guinness is a hideous corporate monster (no longer family owned -- now owned by Diageo) responsible for pulling
the wool over the eyes of millions of stout drinkers.
So, there you have it; next time you're at your local and fancy a pint of nitro-keg Guinness, ask the barman to pour the pint in one pour -- then take a look at
his face (and be ready for an argument!).
What a load of BULLSHIT!!!