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The Perfect Pint Gets Tossed Aside

Well. It is nice for Ireland that its bounding entrance into the knowledge economy has ratcheted up household incomes and added tremendous wealth and weal to the nation as a whole. And it is well that folks from elsewhere in Europe are jetting in droves to Hibernia, making Ireland the fasting-growing member of the E.U. But I would be pleased to observe, just once, a place in ascendence which does not toss its noblest traditions aside in favor of the faceless melange of Chardonnay and Pier One that’s said to attend an upward “lifestyle shift.”

But green Ireland has fallen flat. Guinness beer is on the outs. They like red wine now. “Beer sales are declining while the amount of wine is phenomenal. Before, people would say they wanted a white wine, now they’ll say they want a Chardonnay,” a barkeep says.

Why? Because Guinness is too difficult a beverage. Paul Stevenson, president of the Vintners Association of Ireland, ventures: “In times gone past, alcohol in this country was an acquired taste. You acquired a taste for porter, or Guinness. Your father would have brought you to the pub and sat you down and taught you how to drink. That doesn’t seem to happen now. When people taste something they want something instantly which tastes nice.”

Something which tastes nice, yes. Guinness, if I understand correctly, sits at the very apogee of human development in the field of nice-tasting. The evidence overwhelms. To wit:


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