Some of you might be taking a trip to Ireland in the near future and having a real pint of Guinness will be first on your agenda. You have all heard that the Black Stuff tastes better in Ireland and it definitely does. Trust me; you are talking to an expert. :) 

However, if you want to fit in with the locals, your first Guinness in Ireland could definitely give you away as a tourist. To make sure this faux pas doesn’t happen, simply follow these four rules of thumb:

1)  After discovering the perfect pub and ordering a pint, the barman will fill the glass about 2/3 full and place it on the counter. I know it might be your first Guinness in Ireland, but try not to be overly anxious for that initial glorious sip. Leave the drink where it is and don’t touch it! The barman will probably walk away and help other customers. Don’t panic, he’s not ignoring you. After a few minutes, he will eventually come back to the pint, top it off, and bring it to you.

Please, please, please don’t ask for an engraved shamrock on the head of the pint. This request screams “American tourist.”

2)  Hold your horses! I know you’re probably going crazy by this point because you just want to have a taste of the magic. However, your first Guinness in Ireland needs to settle. It takes time. You have to wait until there is a distinct differentiation between the black and the white. This will only take a few minutes, but be patient.

3)  Don’t blow off or sip the white head off your first pint of Guinness. This is unacceptable. A big no-no!

4)  Another fatal error is to be dainty and sip it. If you are going to be a wuss and take an hour to finish it, then you should have ordered a wine spritzer. Don’t be afraid to grasp the pint glass firmly and knock a big gulp back. If this is your first pint of Guinness in Ireland, treat it as if it’s been on your bucket list for years.

If you follow these four tips, then you will definitely fit in with the Irish. Slainte and bottoms up!

Views: 995

Tags: Beverage, Guinness, Pubs, Tourism, Travel


Founding Member
Comment by Mark Connor on December 28, 2013 at 4:18pm

I'm a rare drinker and didn't partake in any alcohol while in Ireland before, but have decided I have to try the Guinness in Ireland one day. One will do me for a whole night, which it did last night at a place called Shamrocks in my hometown of St. Paul, MN. Drank it just the way you instruct, but couldn't help thinking how much thicker and richer it must be in Dublin herself. I'll say, my Chicago friend who's ma and da are from Galway and Mayo, respectively, as told me you have to have one in the town you leave from (like Chicago or the Twin Cities or New York), if on an indirect flight have one in Amsterdam, then have one when you reach Ireland, comparing the increased thickness. Lightweight that I am, though, I'd say I'd prefer to wait a good 24 hours before trying one in Ireland so I can really appreciate the texture and feel of it.


Founding Member
Comment by Mark Connor on December 29, 2013 at 4:34am

I wouldn't mind checking Nigeria out sometime, but I'd still have to stick to the one as a limit, especially if it has much more alcohol content. I'd hate to go down the road of a lot of my Guinness loving friends who make it a majority staple of their diet. Moderation, right? That British company has owned Guinness for a long time, hasn't it? I was a little disappointed when I first heard it was British owned. It made sense to me, though, back in either '96 or '98, when in Ireland I saw some commercials I found a little racist, particularly one making fun of Native American Indians. I figured an Irish owned company would have been a little more sensitive in its advertising. One other thing I heard about Guinness from a woman who comes from Mayo is that Guinness has a reputation of being good to its employees, making sure through the Famine to always provide a lunch to every worker who put in a day's shift.


Founding Member
Comment by Mark Connor on December 29, 2013 at 2:32pm

You're very right about the marketing genius. The commercial I refer to must have been '96, a chief holding a sacred buffalo skull in the air and then later holding a pint of Guinness, and in the end listening with his ear to the ground to see someone's coming. Then he grabs a sign and runs out to hold it up, and you see he's standing on the side of a highway advertising a night's stay in a face tee-pee hotel. That was very disrespectful because of the mixing of alcohol with indigenous spiritual tradition, which is sacrilegious. One thing about the historical success of Guinness marketing, though, is the tradition of doctors giving it to their patients. I spoke to a speaking to a young Belfast lady in '98, who was 28 like me. She explained that she, as well as her sister, when pregnant, were diagnoses with low iron and so were prescribed by the doctor during pregnancy to consume one pint a day. Just one pint, no more, but a pint of Guinness. Said there was no fetal alcohol problem with either of their babies. A new spin on "Guinness is good for you, I guess. And isn't this conversation good enough marketing for them also?


Founding Member
Comment by Mark Connor on December 29, 2013 at 2:35pm

One final thing. I agree that there are many other cultural and historical attractions, including not just art and literature and religion and politics, but also sports, that are more important for planning your trip. Since I skipped the St. James Gate tour before, though, I might like to try it next time around.

Comment by jean kaniecki on January 2, 2014 at 9:21am

Is it true Guinness has been sold to an Italian company?

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on January 2, 2014 at 9:23am

I think they're a British company with an Italian-sounding name, Jean -- Diageo.

Comment by jean kaniecki on January 2, 2014 at 1:56pm

I'm a Jameson's person myself but is Guinness still made in Ireland?

Comment by jean kaniecki on January 2, 2014 at 2:23pm

Will do. Thanks

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