I wrote about my love of Guinness a while back simply because I love the stuff. It's got less alcohol than Canadian beer, is tasty and healthy (although to be honest, even if it was unhealthy I would still drink it.) I get a kick watching the foam roil around in my glass before I dive in for a big, creamy, gulp. The goofy mustache is a bonus.
Now, Guinness is celebrating its 250th anniversary of signing the lease at St. James Gate, and Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray is asking Guinness lovers to tell him where their most remarkable place to drink Guinness would be.
Fergal's most remarkable place is the Keg Plant at St. James' Gate Brewery, Dubin, home of Guinness.
Mine? I had to think about this. I could name many "remarkable" places, but truthfully, the best places for me have always involved family celebrations. For example, my father-in-law always stocks up on Guinness at Thanksgiving and sets it up in a cooler on his back porch. While my mother-in-law cooks the turkey and putters about the kitchen, the rest of the family (twenty+ and counting) go to the park across the street in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec for a pick up game of touch football, one that involves kids from pre-teens to eighties. After the game, we come back for a game of home-style miniature golf around their house.
Now, bear in mind my inlaw's house is not big, and the lot it sits on is tiny and set on a corner of a bustling little village main street so there's not a lot of room for mini-putt. My father-in-law spends several days in advance to set up the 'golf course' using empty tuna cans for holes. The hazards are natural and challenging - a narrow passage between a 10-foot cedar hedge and a back porch, a paved driveway where the ball is in danger of bouncing into traffic and rolling down the sewer grate, a cement wall leading to the garage, and a vegetable garden full of squash and tomatoes - to name a few.
There are only two clubs which must be shared, every stroke counts no exceptions. We cheer, we boo, we keep the dog from running off with the plastic balls.
After the game, we come inside and and scores are tallied. Over a Guinness or two, we argue over who had the longest shot or the most challenging shot ("Come on, I held up traffic and shot into the bush beans then made my putt in two strokes. That's gotta count for something?" "Yes, but I salvaged a shot from behind the garden gnome, richocheted off the mailbox and landed in the potatoes while narrowly missing the pigeon on the roof.")
So, as I sit on my cottage porch, Guinness in hand, and wait for more guests and family to arrive at the lake for a weekend of swimming and barbeques and dancing under the stars, I have to say I think the best place for a glass of Guinness is wherever your loved ones are.
If you want to have a look at some of the amazing ways Guinness is celebrating, go their website. There is a trip to the depths of the sea to enjoy a Guinness in a deep sea bar, a visit to a recording studio to listen to the Black-Eyes Peas and a trip into space with Sir Richard Branson (don't even bother entering for that one, because I'm going to win it. I've already sent my space suit to the cleaners.)