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March 04, 2008

The Art of the Perfect Pint Pour

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You learn something new everyday. For example, I visited the St. James Gate Brewery of Guinness the other day in Dublin, Ireland and learned how to properly pour a point of Guinness.

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This is where the real production happens. This facility brews roughly three million pints per day.

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The tourist part of the facility is called the Guinness Storehouse. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. It houses a museum, bar (of course), and store. This is the lobby.

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If you look up the atrium and you've had a few pints, you might believe the story that the building is shaped like a Guinness pint glass, and it would hold 14.3 million pints.

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If you look down, you'd see the lease that Arthur Guinness signed for the property on December 31, 1759. The terms were, get this, 9,000 years for 45 pounds per year. Not sure what to make of this, but Arthur Guinness had twenty-one children with his wife Olivia Whitmore.

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We're in the museum now. This is the barley exhibit. There are four basic ingredients in Guinness: water, barley, hops, and yeast.

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This is the hops exhibit.

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This is a roaster.

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This is the kind of safe that the formula was kept in. (This is one way to prevent controversies like the Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe scandal.)

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Over the course of the history of the company, it has used animals like a sea lion, ostrich, kangaroo, and toucan for its advertising.

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The brewmaster of Guinness, Fergal Murray, demonstrates the Guinness Surge.

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There is a special formula that you pour into a glass, set on a "plate," and ultra-sound waves trigger the proper releasing of nitrogen gas.

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The result is a pint of Guinness that will have the rich, creamy head that you expect. (This photo doesn't show the final result. It's midway through the process.)

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This is the bar at the top of the building. It provides one of the best views of the city of Dublin. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the city because I was busy learning about pouring and drinking.

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Here is Fergal showing me how to pour the "perfect pint pour." There are three stages to this: first, you craft the pint; second, you revere it; and third, you savor it. Having the brewmaster of Guinness teach you the perfect pint pour is like having Steve Jobs showing you how to attach the USB Ethernet adapter to your Air.

This is a video of Fergal showing you how to do the perfect pint pour.

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Proof that I learned the method and could be a bartender in an Irish pub.

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This are some toys in the marketing department.

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Speaking of marketing, Guinness is supporting Proposition 3-17 to make St. Patrick's Day a national holiday in the United States. If you'd like to learn more and support this proposition, click here.

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There's nothing I like more than a good slogan or mantra. This one is right up there.

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