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The black art of serving Guinness

Guinness - best drunk warm :)It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a manGuinness is good for you on his way home from work on a Friday night must be in search of a decent pint of beer.

We are indeed fortunate, on this scepter’d isle of ours, in having a wonderful brewing heritage that yields a terrific diversity of ciders, bitters, lagers, ales, milds and of course stouts. There is a drink for everyone.

Afficionados of the ancient brewer’s art will know that, lagers aside, most of these beers are ideally served at room temperature or cellar temperature at best.

This is particularly the case in the modern age where big business, dominated by men in suits seeking to maximise profits, abounds with “creative” ideas intended to extract as much cash as possible from a hardworking public.

One such creative idea is the notion of “extra cold” beer. It’s the same stuff, out of the same barrel but served through a different pipe and cooled by a further 3 degrees. Some people surrender to the hypnotic effects of the advertising budget and opt for this cold concoction.

Not I for I am a man of tradition, especially when it comes to my pint. Tonight whilst waiting for a Guinness, dispensed in two stages and then finally topped up after the liquor has settled for a minute or so, I was treated by the barmaid to a technical tutorial in the science of beer pouring.

Extra cold Guinness is preferred by bar staff to the warm stuff. This is because the extra cold variety pours with a much smaller head and therefore does not normally need the final topping up stage of its warmer sibling. The publican, with time and motion always at the forefront of his busy mind, clearly favours this more profitable option.

At my own local this does not affect our enjoyment of the experience and to my knowledge I personally have never been subjected to any exhortation, subliminal or otherwise, to opt for the extra cold variety.

Long may this continue – bottoms up and have a good weekend.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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