A Taste of Ireland – Guinness Irish Stout
by Geoff Nicoll, Director of Wine & Spirits
When you think about your favorite Irish beer, which comes to mind? For us, it’s Guinness. Guinness Extra Stout is a dry Irish Stout which gains its deep dark color from roasting the barley. It, like other traditional beers, consists of water, barley and yeast, but in this case, some un-malted barley is sent to kilns to give a toasty, smoky, coffee-like flavor. The original gave birth to a draught stout which is pressurized with nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide, which leads to a creamier, less sharp mouthfeel, and a slightly lower alcohol content. While it has a reputation of being “a meal in a glass”, a typical 12 oz serving of a draught stout contains around 150 calories, less than a glass of low fat milk, orange juice and many light beers.
Guinness is great enjoyed on its own but can also be paired with some wonderful Irish cheeses, such as Tipperary Irish Cheddar and Oscar Wilde Aged Irish Cheddar (both on sale at Bristol Farms through March 25, 2014). Make it a meal by enjoying with a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner, also being sold at Bristol Farms.
The story of Guinness started in 1755 in the small town of Lexlip, just outside of Dublin. Arthur Guinness invested an inheritance of £100 in a tiny brewery and began his brewing career. Several short years later, in 1759, Mr. Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for a 4 acre plot at St. James Gate in Dublin for £45 annually.
The brewery has grown to over 64 acres, and encompassed many streets and buildings surrounding the brewery, housing many of its employees and providing ample office space. In the early 1900’s it was the world’s largest brewery, and continues to be the largest stout producer on the planet.
Recently celebrating its 250th anniversary, the brewery is still the home of the best known and widely consumed stouts. It has become famous for its signature beers, and its famous dry stout in particular. While in its infancy, they brewed two types of beers, a porter, or single stout and a double or extra stout. In subsequent years, a foreign stout was brewed for export, and is available in nearly 100 countries.
So for this St. Patrick’s Day, in honor of the patron saint, hoist a pint of Guinness and savor the richness and 250 years of tradition. (Guinness produced Harp and Smithwick’s beers are on sale too!)
Grab a few while they are on sale!
Guinness Stout 6pk $6.99
Guinness Black Lager 6pk $6.99
Guinness Draught Bottle 6 pk $6.99
Guinness Pub Draught Can 8 pk $14.99
Harp Lager 6pk $6.49
Smithwick’s Irish Ale 6 pk $6.99
Prices valid through March 25, 2014. Not all sale prices available at all stores. Check with your local store for more details.