Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Guinness beer - Love It or Hate It?

It is safe to say that my wife is not a beer drinker. With anticipation of our trip to Ireland and Scotland next summer (with the Chef Dez Culinary Tour group) I thought it would be a good idea to get her used to the taste of one of the most well-known beers from Ireland: Guinness. Also one of my favourites!
Chicken Wings made on my Big Green Egg
with a cold pint of Guinness

The problem: my wife doesn't drink beer, ever. In all the years I have known her I cannot remember her ever choosing to drink a beer. Does this mean that she hates the taste of beer? Not necessarily. There have been a number of occasions that I persuaded her to have a sip of my beer where she replied "not bad", but when my offer of a second sip came about, the answer was always "no thanks". So I figured that getting her to like, and even perhaps enjoy, the taste of Guinness may be a bit of a challenge... but one I was willing to tackle.

For me, Guinness is an amazing beer as long as it is direct from Ireland. For the average consumer here in British Columbia, Canada, as far as I know, this can only be done by buying it in cans, or being served a draft from a keg that was filled in Ireland. The bottles of Guinness, from what I understand, are bottled here in Canada with the same recipe, but not with the Irish water that supposedly makes it so smooth. I can taste the difference (from the last time I tried doing a taste test comparison that is) and much prefer the Guinness from a can - not that I drink it from a can, but that's how I purchase it. Guinness is both bold and smooth with a very creamy head that, when poured correctly, will be there until the very last sip.

For a non-beer drinker however, I am sure that this should not be the virgin choice to start this journey of beer appreciation. However, she surprised me. From the first sip she realized what I have known for years, and said "wow, that's a lot smoother than I thought". I smiled with hope that we were on the right course of action, and with the offering of a second sip, she accepted, and I knew we were. Since then she has not indulged in a whole pint herself yet, but has had at least a half of a pint so far in one sitting. The whole pint for her, I feel is just around the corner. Recently she stopped off at the liquor store and called me to ask "should I pick up some more Guinness?" - she sure knows how to talk to man! I will keep you posted on the progress.

Does this mean I do not consume any other Irish beers, let alone any other beers in general? Of course it doesn't. I enjoy many types, brands, and styles of beer. Guinness was chosen not only because it is one of my favourites, but also because it is arguably the most well-known Irish beer there is. Not to mention we will also be visiting the Guinness factory on our trip to Ireland and Arthur Guinness's Pub. For the record however, I also like Kilkenny (brought to us by the makers of Guinness by the way) and we will also be visiting the town of Kilkenny while we are in Ireland.

So, what about you? Do you love Guinness or hate it? What do you love about it? What do you hate? Maybe you're somewhere in between. I would love to hear your thoughts regardless, so please share with me.

As for the chicken wings we made on the Big Green Egg (pictured), well that's for another blog entry.

Til next time... Happy Cooking (& Drinking)!

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