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Guinness in NYC: Is it all the same, or are there places that serve up better pints than others?

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Guinness in NYC: Is it all the same, or are there places that serve up better pints than others?

George Lynch | Jan 26, 2001 11:07 AM

Being of Irish extraction and having developed a profound fondness for this wonderful beverage, I would like to hear the opinions of other Guinness aficionados.

Some years ago, I had the great experience of tending bar in an Irish bar in an Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, and the prevailing opinion among those from the old country was that the Guinness in the US simply does not stand up to what is served in Ireland. And there might be some basis for this belief.

It's my understanding that the Guinness served in Ireland is not pasteurized, thereby leaving in certain bacteria, thus imparting more flavor. But all Guinness that is exported IS pasteurized, certainly killing the germs but possibly also killing some of the flavor, or at least making it uniform. And, if this is true, wouldn't all Guinness taste the same in New York (or elsewhere outside of Ireland), except for factors like the temperature at which it's served and the cleanliness of the glass? (Maybe it's these factors that give one or another pub the reputation of serving up the best pint.)

I've had the good fortune and pleasure to have imbibed quite a bit of Guinness in Ireland, and while I enjoyed every drop (at least every drop I can remember), I really didn't notice all that much of a difference between the version served there and the version I find here. My Irish friends and family, naturally, think I'm a philistine of sorts as a result, but I gotta be honest here. I love a good pint of Guinness, but I've found that a pint at the right temperature in a clean glass IS a good pint.

So, what do YOU think?

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