St. Patrick's Day reminds me that my darling of draughts is good 'ol Guinness.
Present me with a glass of the thick, dark brew and I know that I will not only enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling after a few sips, but will feel full and satisfied as if I'd taken just enough trips to an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Beer snobs may snicker at my pedestrian taste, but I don't need my beer explained to me in order to take pleasure in it.
My Guinness is about the experience of sitting on a bar stool, snuggled up to a companion and being beckoned by the creamy head on a freshly tapped pint, artfully decorated with a shamrock or another design carefully carved into the soft, beigey-ness that is my favorite part.
I prefer it from a tap, but I'll take it from a can over the bottled version in dire straits.
One must be patient when ordering a Guinness, as its pour is an art form that cannot be rushed or executed with haste. Let it settle and all is coming.
Guinness proves its versatility as it evolves into even more of a party when served up with a side of Jameson or Tullamore Dew. Add some Bailey's to that shot, drop it into half a pint and you have a drinking experience lovingly known as a "Car Bomb." Or perhaps you like your Guinness a bit on the lighter side and do halvsies with Bass Pale Ale for a "Black and Tan." (I'm taking a cue from Nike and stating that certainly no offense is intended by using the "bar" names for either of these beverages.)
It's this knock-back adaptability that makes Guinness so captivating.
Plus, Guinness may in fact be "good for you," as famously blazoned in years gone by. A study by our very own University of Wisconsin in 2003 found "Guinness can reduce blood clots and the risk of heart attack. Guinness contains antioxidants like those found in red wine and dark chocolate, which are not found in other beers." (Why Guinness is Good For You – Chicago Tribune) And it contains 3 milligrams of iron, just a smidge less than one cup of spinach.
This duality makes it a naughty/nice treat worthy of indulgence.
So, as you sit down with your green bagel smeared with emerald cream cheese or feast upon corned beef and cabbage this weekend, feel no guilt upon enjoying the draught that creates a lava lamp-like performance of deep earthy browns and caramel as it descends into its rich blackness upon every pour.
Here's to 250 more years of "Guinness as usual." Sláinte!
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