The Feast of St. Patrick commemorates the death of a Briton who was carried to Eire in shackles only to become the isle’s patron saint. If that doesn’t merit a celebration, we don’t know what does. So each March 17, we raise a glass to St. Patrick and his far-flung flock — and what better glass to raise than a pint of Arthur Guinness’s eponymous, alchemical Dublin stout. We asked a panel of expert tipplers to offer their explanations as to why Guinness — with apologies to Commodore John Barry — may well be Ireland’s most momentous export. Sláinte!
CLIFFORD D. MAY
I like Guinness because it tastes like Ireland.
I also like Guinness because the company was a pioneer in brand management, marketing, and strategic messaging.
Starting in the 1930s they ran simple but compelling advertising campaigns on such themes as “Guinness Makes You Strong,” and “Guinness is Good For You.” (Though my favorite, from the 1940s, may be: “Toucans in their nests agree / Guinness is good for you / Try some today and see / What one or toucan do.”)
— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies