My friend Tarun and I were lucky enough to attend the Guinness Believer Tasting last night at the World Cafe in Philly. When I first received the press release for the event, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. Described as a “unique multi-media event led by a Guinness ambassador,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after attending the packed event, I can wholeheartedly say Guinness has made a believer out of me.
The evening began with a lesson in pouring, in which the audience got to pour their own pints of Guinness Draught. We learned that it takes one minute and 19 seconds to pour the perfect pint. For the perfect pint, tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle and fill the glass about halfway, pulling the handle towards you. Once the foam settles, straighten the glass and fill it to the top, pushing the handle away from you, until the head is proud of the rim (meaning that the foam curves just over the glass, but doesn’t spill over).
Following the pouring lesson, our Guinness ambassador came out to start the show. Both he, and the show, were quite entertaining and informative. We raised (several) pints, chanted slàinte!, and learned about the history of Guinness. Some interesting facts: Arthur Guinness, the founder, signed a 9000 year lease for the brewery at St. James Gate in Ireland, which is still the location of the Guinness brewery today. And to those who’ve heard that Guinness is like a meal in a glass, apparently 12 oz of Guinness only has 125 calories.
We also sampled 2 other Guinness brews. The Guinness Foreign Extra Stout was rich with a decadent chocolate flavor, reminding me of a more refined version of chocolate sodas from an old-fashioned soda fountain. The Guinness Black Lager was lighter, with a heavy coffee flavor and slight bitterness from the hops. Both were new reincarnations of the classic Guinness Draughts that I’d never tasted before, and I really enjoyed both brews.
The Guinness Believer Tasting was certainly a success in Philly, and it may be coming to a city near you soon! Next week, they will be heading to Washington, DC, and to Chicago the following week. Best of all, this event is free to all; just make sure to RSVP in advance. Join Guinness enthusiasts and rookies alike to raise a pint in your city–slàinte!