One afternoon, sitting in a bar in my family’s ancient home village of Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, I watched a German woman order a Guinness at a bar. Now, a Guinness cannot be rushed, and a common error is for tourists to want to grab it off the bar and drink it before it’s fully ready. But not this lady.
Instead, she took out her camera and, as the pint foamed, lovingly recorded every step of the magical transformation process: the way the fermentation bubbles up from the bottom to crest gently at the top, the way the color molts and darkens, the way the whitecap appears, coalesces and finally, with a flick of the barman’s wrist, gets its little shamrock on top. Mmmmmm.
Me, I’m more of a Murphy’s guy, but there’s no denying the potency and power of a properly pulled pint. Or two. Or four . . .