A newly-married couple from Los Angeles quit their jobs to work on farms and wineries across Europe. Read it from the beginning...

How to pour the perfect pint of Guinness

Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ireland, Recipes | 11 Comments »

The highlight of my trip to the Guinness Storehouse was the “Perfect Pint” bar, where they instruct visitors on how to pour, you guessed it, the perfect pint. They’re very specific about it, largely to ensure the correct amount of the creamy head. I took copious notes (not really, I photographed the instructional poster), and here is the method as described to me by an official Guinness bartender:

  1. Take a cool, dry, Guinness-branded glass. The distinctive, bulbed pint glass is important. The traditional, straight-side glass leads to either too-much or not enough head.
  2. Hold the glass “firmly” at 45 degrees under the tap, logo facing you.
  3. Pull the handle fully forward towards you. Straighten the glass when the drink reaches the “Guinness” text. Stop filling when it reaches the middle of the harp, or about 3/4 full. Do not allow the nozzle to touch the side of the glass, nor penetrate the surface of the drink.
  4. Leave the surge to settle, allowing the creamy head to form. The head should be 10-15 mm high. The head is formed by nitrogen gas, released from the liquid by friction from a mid-line filter. It first runs down the side of the glass (hence the cascading dark/light effect), then up the middle. The gas, temporarily caught in the top of the liquid, forms the head.
  5. Top up the glass by pushing the tap handle away from you. Stop when the foam is proud of the rim (slightly above it). Do not allow spillage.
  6. Present to customer with a steady hand, logo facing forward.

There. Now that’s a perfect pint.


Posted: May 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ireland, Meals | 6 Comments »

Halbe snapped this shot of a sodden Dublin pair, enjoying the sunshine/sidewalk on a Monday afternoon. Taken in Temple Bar.

We’re back in sightseeing mode, and have spent two days checking off items in Dublin: Guiness Storehouse, Trinity College, Long Library, Book of Kells, Temple Bar, St. Stephen’s Green, Ha’Penny Bridge, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Any recommendations of things to do or see?

Best meal for me so far: bangers and mash from Gruel on Dame Street.

Two sausages on mashed potatoes, covered with onions cooked in a balsamic vinegar. Hearty and delicious.

Since arriving, I’ve been living a fairly Henry VIII-style diet. Lotsa meat. Dinner the night before was a grill selection: thick cut bacon, steak, and more sausage, accompanied with potato wedges.

I haven’t seen the emphasis on organic and local food here that was near-omnipresent in England/Wales. We did eat at “Nude”, an eco-conscious cafe created by Bono’s older brother, but its €2.25 wheatgrass shots did not appear to be attracting many customers.

Next, we’re considering renting a car to visit the northern coast of the island. Next week we begin work on a commercial goat dairy farm in County Cork.

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