Anyone that has dropped by my travel blog from time to time will have worked out two things about me. Firstly, I like to cycle around the world, and secondly, I like a beer or two! During my recent stay in Dublin for the TBEX conference, I was given the opportunity of visiting the Guinness Storehouse to go on an exclusive tour, and who was i to say no? The chance of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness on the connoisseur experience was a temptation I just couldn't resist!
The Guinness Storehouse is arguably one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dublin, and in the peak season several thousand people pass through its doors every day. The standard tour will lead visitors up and through a unique building featuring steel girders, glass and escalators, the centre of which is described as the worlds largest pint glass. The tour which can be self guided or taken in guided groups, covers a brief history of Guinness, the brewing process, advertising and other facts, ending with a pint of Guinness in the Gravity bar, which boasts 360 degree views out over the city. Don't get me wrong, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours, but the Connoisseur experience which I was fortunate enough to go on, is a far more intimate and unique way to enjoy a visit to the Storehouse.
Four other bloggers and myself were there as part of a promotional tour, which visiting celebrities are treated to whenever they visit the Guinness Storehouse. It is also possible for individuals or groups to arrange the connoisseur experience for an additional fee of 25 Euros, although pre-booking is highly advised as spaces are strictly limited. The Guinness connoisseur experience presents the chance to taste a number of different sorts of Guinness (yes, there are more than one!) and learn a bit about the history. As a beer fan though, the best thing for me, was that this was the ideal place to learn the art of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness!
Now, I will be the first to admit that I am more of a drinker than a pourer. After all, there is a reason why I prefer one side of the bar over the other! However, it's only by learning how to do a job, albeit for a brief period, that one truly comes to appreciate masters of their craft. At least, that was my justification for it all. So, whilst I could bore you with facts and figures about Guinness, the history of the company and it's links through the decades with Dublin, I am instead going to share with you the steps involved in pouring the perfect pint of Guinness.
Pouring the Perfect Pint of Guinness
Step 1 – Make sure the pipes are regularly cleaned, and that a new keg of Guinness is tapped. This will mean that the freshest Guinness is to hand.
Step 2 – Take a clean, cool and dry Guinness branded pint glass, and hold it so that the branding is facing the customer.
Step 3 – Tilt the pint glass at a 45 degree angle underneath the Guinness tap, and pull the tap towards you. That lovely black stuff will now start to pour out!
Step 4 – As the glass fills, tilt the angle of the glass gently so that it gradually straightens up, being careful not to let the nozzle touch the liquid. When the glass is three quarters full, it should be straight, and you should push the handle back to stop the flow.
Step 5 – This is the important bit – let the liquid settle for around two minutes by placing it on the bar.
Step 6 – Take the glass, with the branding still facing the customer, and hold it straight underneath the tap once more, always ensuring that the nozzle never touches the Guinness itself. Now, push the top handle away from yourself in order to release more liquid.
Step 7 – Fill the glass up to the brim, being careful to never let the Guinness overspill. This is just sloppy barmanship, and the sign of either a noob or someone that doesn't care what they are doing!
Step 8 – Place the full pint of Guinness down on the bar, with the branding of the glass still facing the customer, again without letting any of it spill over.
Step 9 – Smile in satisfaction at pouring the perfect pint of Guinness – It's a job well done!