I've been to Ireland a few times (even fell down the Hill of Tara), and I have toured the Guinness brewery in Dublin. You can smell it from blocks away. Hell, the entire River Liffey in that area smells like hops, so it's not hard to find. As far as a tour goes, it wasn't overly interesting - we didn't actually get to see it being brewed like I have on other brewery tours...but we did get to watch a movie on the history of the beer, along with a few coupons for a couple of pints in the bar there.
Still, I did learn that it was originally brewed in 1778, so it's been around for a bit. It's also made with the standard sort of hops and barley and a special little ingredient made from fish bladders. (NOM?) That's air bladders, btw, not urinary bladders. Kinda funky.
And yeah - I stopped by a pub at 10 am once or twice to take pictures, and the locals were already in there happily nursing a pint or two. Stereotypical, I guess, but apparently somewhat rooted in truth.
And then there's the commercials. Lots of commercials.
Yeah...just a bit sexist there. LOL.
Anyway, I know earlier in the week we were also discussing cooking with alcohol, so I'm going to leave you with this delightful looking thing.
And a link to the recipe even -->
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
**As an aside, the real mother of all Irish drinks? Poteen. Irish moonshine. Potatoe squeezin's. Illegal for centuries (since 1661), but continues to be distilled secretly anyway.
According to Wikipedia: "Traditionally distilled from malted barley grain or potatoes, it is one of the strongest alcoholic beverages in the world (renowned for its ability to get the drinker intoxicated the morning after drinking it by drinking water and thereby bringing the remaining ethanol back into solution)"
So. Um. Yeah. You can buy the stuff for real now, as there are now two official licensed distilleries in Ireland. for example, produces a 180 proof version. (90% alcohol!)