Where can I get a "proper" Guiness?

It has come to my attention from the other beer threads that I have judged Guiness unfairly.

Where is Guiness served properly as it’s meant to be?

The SDMB spans the globe so any location is welcome but if anybody can help I’d love to get one in either Houston or Las Vegas. Guiness lovers help me change my mind about this popular beverage.

Star by using two Ns :smiley:

Your only safe bet is to find a bar that has it on tap, easy in most places I’ve been to.
I’m not sure what beer culture is like in Texas though, maybe you could ask around in some microbrewerie or a place that seems to take their ales seriously (i.e. has a lot of brands).
There’s always the controversial “big can with the magic device inside that somehow makes it taste less like utter cow’s urine than the little cans…” Then again, I’d just go for a straight tap of the black stuff, nothing like it! :smiley:

— G. Raven

p.s. the “big can” contraption is NOT recommended by my friends, but I’ve never tried it personally. Nor do I have any idea what manner of voodoo is involved in making those “beertap cans”.

Damn Gaudere’s law! :frowning:

I meant to use the word “start” and not “star” in the opening sentance which was supposed to make light fun of your spelling, but ridiculed mine instead.

Oh well :frowning:

---- G. Raven

Fly to Minneapolis and head to Kieran’s downtown. Then go to Boston and visit PJ Kilroy’s. Then catch a flight to Dublin and …

oh, within a specific budget, you mean.

The ‘big can with the magic widget’ contraption is surprisingly effective in my experience. The only major downside I see is that you can’t make a cloverleaf in the head with the tap, since you don’t have a tap. Plus, it’s fun to listen to the death-rattle of the pint as you shake the empty can.

Going to a bar where Guinness is on tap is not a solid guarantee that you will get a “proper” pint of Guinness. If the bartender fills the glass straight up without stopping, you’re in the wrong place. (There are “Irish pubs” here in Virginia that do that. shudder) The proper method involves filling the pint glass halfway, letting it settle, filling it another quarter, then letting that settle, then topping it off, handing it to the customer, and letting it settle one final time on the bar. The standard wait for a proper pint of Guinness is, as I understand it, some five to seven minutes. Having a shot of whiskey is recommended as a fine way to mark the time.

I’ve also heard reference to “shocking” the pint by placing it on a marble surface, but I don’t know what that involves. Finally it should be “cellar temp”; I presume that means the line should be attached to a keg that’s actually in the cellar but there must be some generally accepted range of temperature as well. Damned if I know what it is, though.

All Irishmen seeking to correct or clarify the above are warmly invited to do so.

Does Gaudere’s law only apply to pointing out typos before you proceed to the gist of your contribution? 'Cos Morrison there misspelled “sentence” in his last post.

I was hoping no one would call me on that one!
But hey, I was born in a foreign country, so shoot me :wink:

The point about lousy bartenders is well taken, I make a point of asking for a new glass if I see some moron messing up my pint.
They usually look at you all weird if they’re new or something, but I’ve met a couple that have taken the advice in a graceful manner.

Sorry I forgot to go into the details of pouring the black gold, it just seems so unimportant to mention it when you’re visualizing a keg of the good stuff in front of you :smiley:

— G. Raven

Here are some tips to finding a good pint of Guinness in no particular order.

Yes, Guinness requires a two part pour. Vileorb tells me that the place right by my house does it in one pour but I still don’t care for it. The reason is to let the carbonation settle out properly. This leads us to point #2. The system. The Guinness should be chilled, I understand and know well the joys of a proper temperature Pint in Ireland, but it just aint gonna happen in the US.
Guinness requires a mixture of Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen to get the right settling and not taste bitter.

How do you find such a place? Music. You find good Irish music and it’s a safe bet you will find good Guinness! Ask the local Irish you meet as well.

It really shouldnt take 7 minutes…a couple yes, but not that long unless there are problems with the CO2/N mix.

Now since I can’t help you in your area I will give my recommendations for Chicago.

  1. Gunther Murphys - Simply the best.
  2. Celtic Crossings - great authentic atmosphere.
  3. Cullens - I am giving it a provisional recommendation as the last two times I was there it was sub par but it was always a consistent pint.
  4. Tommy Nevins - depends on the bartender, but usually good.
  5. Fadò - Now I get the creeps from the sheer commercialism of the place, but the upstairs bar serves a nice pint and they have good food as well.
  6. The Irish Oak - right down the block from Wrigley Field and a nice lil place.

addresses and numbers upon request.

The only place that comes to mind is an Irish bar in San Antonio on the river walk. I make it out that way a couple times a year so unless someone knows about a closer spot I’ll give that a try.

As for my spelling I’ve admitted it here before it sucks.

I respectfully disagree with the idea that you should look for a pub that plays Irish music. These places frequently cater more to Americans than to the actual Irish and may therefore be less concerned with the quality of the Guinness they’re pouring. Your best bet is to find a pub with Irish staff, most of whom would not pour a bad pint as a matter of principle, and with Irish patrons who wouldn’t drink it if they did.

I looked on the website for the North American Federation of Celtic Supporters Clubs and found the following two in the areas you wanted, waxteeth:

Las Vegas - The New Frontier Hotel (3120 Las Vegas Blvd South)
Houston - Ron’s Pub West (11820 Westheimer Road)

There should be plenty o’ paddies (or Scottish of Irish descent, just as good) at these places so I assume the Guinness will probably be pretty good - for Guinness, anyway (can’t tolerate much of the stuff myself :)).

BTW, Olentzero, the first pour should fill about 3/4s of the glass, not just half.

How much do I like Guinness? Well, that’s my dog’s name, so you can figure it out.

I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that if you want the REALLY good stuff (and, of course, money is not object), the only place to go is the Emerald Isle itself. It really doesn’t taste the same elsewhere. Which means that I, myself, haven’t had a “perfect” pint in a decade. :frowning:

In the states - on tap, yes, with all the pouring described above. However, the big draught cans do pretty well, too. Do not - I repeat, NOT - buy the bottles. They’re crap. Stuff doesn’t taste even remotely like it’s supposed to.

I suppose I should have bolded the “good” part of Irish music. WHen I refer to it, I am of course referring to the places where the musicians go, their friends go and they happen to play from time to time. I also make a huge distinction between the hideous Clancy Bros./Irish Eyes are smilin’ DRECK and stellar musicians playing wonderful traditional music.
As a concrete example, here in Chicago, the Hilton has an Irish bar called Kitty O’Shea’s (or Shitty O’Kay’s :))
They have an predominantly Irish staff, bank on their “atmosphere”, and have diddley-Ei-O shit for music with synthesizers and bad guitar playing, but the Guinness is in my not humble at all opinion, crap. However, I know that on any given night, I will walk into Gunthers and see Eamonn, Mowler, Adrian, or Lorraine ( who all either work or have worked at Shitty’s) sitting at the bar or in one of the snugs. Tim Fleming, Aidan O’Toole, Lance, Mike Buckley, or any number of other fine musicians will also be in on a regular basis.
I have had crap from Irish bartenders that I have actually refused - cultural heritage/national background does not a good bartender make although I will concede that there is a corollary between the two.

Thanks Ruadh, I’m going to be at one or the other of these places in the next couple of weeks to find out if I like the stuff.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The brews from both St. James’ Gate (Dublin) and the London counterpart are virtually as good. The only difference is the water that’s used, IIRC.

The widget cans are a good home option. The taste is fine, although it’s of course no match for the draught. Guinness differs greatly per nation: the Belgian one has more alcohol, for example. Can’t fool those Belgians with 4.3%! :smiley:
Guinness in Amsterdam is good, judging by “foreign” standards. But I’ve never been the same since my visit to Dublin last fall. A visit to St. James’ Gate included, of course.

[sub]Even though I DO think Murphys Irish Stout is just as good, but the Dublin contingent will kill me if I say that out loud…[/sub]

Legend (or my Dad) has it the best place is in Dublin. Apparantly because they drink so much of it in Dublin and they’re so close to the brewery you won’t be served from a keg thats full of the dregs of Guinness from sitting so long.

…because not only did I used to live in dear old dirty Dublin itself, I used to live…two blocks from the Guinness brewery. Every morning, we’d wake up and walk to work in the scent of Guinness being born. Filled the air,so it did. Like God Himself’s own bedfarts.

What amazed me, though is how widely the quality of the Guinness would vary, even from one bar to the one next door. Since these bars were in inner city Dublin (although all on Southside), they were presumably getting it on local delivery. Proximity is no guarantee of quality, however. Handling and a bartender who knows how to build a pint are all. Having said that, some of the best pints I’ve had in my life were…at the Guinness hopstore. Take the tour, buy the souvenirs, and use your “drink tickets” for either a pint of two glasses. Since it’s not a bar, you couldn’t buy more, per se, but the waitstaff were good about exchanging beer for money on the black. Also, you could wait until people had taken the cursory sip and decided they didn’t like it, then poach their pints. Fine sport, that is.

In the States, I’ve had less luck. Good Irish music is a decent guarantee of finding a proper pint, but as it can take up to three minutes to build one, put off getting it at busy bars. You’d do just as well to get the widget cans (or a keg) and try it yourself. Use proper glasses (the ones with bulges at the top) and practice,practice, practice.

That wouldn’t be 8 Poolebeg Street, would it? Hanged if I can remember the name of the pub. I’ve heard several references saying that it’s actually better than getting it at the brewery itself.

Any Dubliners care to provide further guidance?