On The Art Of Drinking Guinness Like A Proper Irish

drinking guinness

drinking guinness

Most of you probably know that drinking Guinness really isn’t my favorite sport. I’ll take a sip, work my face in unflattering and disgusted grimaces, hear my friends shoo, tell me I’m a filthy pagan and put the pint back on the table.

That’s just how it is. I hate Guinness.

But it’s not because I highly despise its taste that I can’t appreciate its protocol.

You see, a pint of Guinness is not something you simply fill up and drink in the space of a second. It requires appreciation, a great deal of technique, and even perhaps years of practice to master what truly is, in my sense, a form of art.

Crafting the perfect pint of Guinness

If you’ve had a pint of the popular stout in the past, you’ve probably noticed that it takes a little while longer to get than most beers. An authentic pint of Guinness means patience and talent.

Why so? Because there are actually four very precise steps to follow in order to get the perfect pint. I wasn’t kidding at all when I said it was art!

  • Serve it in an official Guinness tulip-shaped pint. Anything not identified as such is not worthy of the black drink!
  • Open the tap, place your pint at a 45-degree angle, and fill the pint up to the harp above the Guinness logo. No more, no less.
  • Put the pint on the bar. Yes, even if it’s not full. Yes, even if it feels weird at first. And most importantly, make sure no one touches it, as the stout needs to settle for about two minutes before it’s ready for the next step. Or, according to the company, exactly 119.53 seconds. Slapping away the hands of the curious or addicts is highly encouraged by the Irish community. No one messes with a Guinness in progress.
  • Lastly, push on the tap again, and very slowly fill the pint to the very edge, to create the famous creamy, dome-shaped head.

Drinking Guinness… Irish style

drinking guinness drinking guinnessdrinking guinnessdrinking guinnessLearning how to craft the perfect Guinness pint at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

drinking guinnessCan’t blame me for not trying!

Remember how I said that years of practice were required in order to perfectly appreciate the black stuff? That’s where it comes handy. Because if you really want to drink Guinness the Irish way, you have to do it in no more than 4 sips.

Yes. You read that right. 4 gigantic sips – gulps, really. And not just random ones. Your sips should be as follow:

  1. From the edge to the logo.
  2. From the logo to where the glass starts tapering.
  3. From this spot to the first half of the bottom part.
  4. And to the very last drop.

This is not a myth, people. I’ve seen it happen live, several times and in different areas of Ireland. The Irish men take their Guinness very seriously and practiced for years before getting to this point. It’s actually pretty impressive to watch.

drinking guinness

Some Irish people might have a drinking problem, but they still appreciate the craft, and effort, behind their beloved black stuff. I too admire the patience it takes to craft a perfect pint of Guinness, even though drinking a Guinness in 4 gulps isn’t in my short-term (or let’s be honest here, any sort of term) plans.

But hey, I gotta start somewhere. If President Obama can do it, so can you!

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Marie is a native Montrealer trying to balance a deep love for her hometown and an unquenchable thirst for travel and discovery. She has been to more than 36 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels -- especially if it involves chocolate.