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Old 11-18-2007, 05:30 PM   #1
Yuri_Rage
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Upon return from a two week overseas business trip (pictures and details to follow later today), I had a four hour layover in London's Gatwick Airport. Those few hours are the only time I've ever spent in the UK.

The customs and security procedures were absolutely HORRENDOUS, so I barely had time to grab a pint before boarding the next flight. The choices at the bar were very limited: John Smith's, Beck's, Heineken, and Guinness on tap with virtually nothing available in bottles. So, I chose Guinness, thinking that I'd test the rumo(u)r that Guinness in the UK is infinitely better than what you get in the US.

It was a nice pour, served way too cold, that tasted EXACTLY like what you get from a tap here in the US (dare I say virtually identical to what you get from the widget can?!). Now, if I had a pint served real ale style from a beer engine in Ireland, perhaps things would be different. I almost shed a tear in my lackluster pint of stout when I noticed posters everywhere advertising a huge real ale festival in London this very weekend.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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don't ya wish for longer delays in airports sometimes?
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:22 PM   #3
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EAC mode engage> I love Guinness, but IMHO it's overrated. It's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the varieties of Stout....and I really think it's because of marketing that it's SO popular with the masses. I'm not sold on the idea that having a pint of Guinness at its source is the Holy Grail of beer. BMC have been so prevalent in the US for so long, that if you drink Guinness, you kinda think you're drinking something unique. The way I see it, Guinness is for the trendy crowd...just go anywhere on St. Patty's Day and see how many beer connoiseurs and proclaimed Irishmen come out of the woodwork <EAC mode disengage

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Old 11-18-2007, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve
I love Guinness, but IMHO it's overrated.
That was sorta my whole point. I settled on a pint of Guinness after finding the selection to be substandard. Just as I suspected, it was just another pint of Guinness...nothing special. I was hoping to have a pint of cellar temperature English ale, but the airport was catering to the Euro-BMC crowd.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:21 PM   #5
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The Guinness you had was not loved and was super chilled.
It's nothing like a real glass of loved Guinness.
But Beamish is better. (IMO)

Thare are more bad pubs in the UK than good.
Good job there are many, many, many pubs!
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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Ah. I assumed from your story that you went for the Guinness first since you were in the UK and wanted to test the theory, not that you "settled" THEN tested the theory Who's to say you didn't get the exact same thing we get over here? I know the rumor is that we get a different product; that our version is actually stronger, but maybe they stock the most commonly available version at the airports...who knows? I'd definitely like to go to Ireland and try Guinness at the brewery, but I bet I'd probably be more enamored with some of the local and unique brews. Euro BMC's....with their F1 racing, leather pants, and Heineken mini kegs. Hmmpf!

 
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
The Guinness you had was not loved and was super chilled.
It's nothing like a real glass of loved Guinness.
But Beamish is better. (IMO)

Thare are more bad pubs in the UK than good.
Good job there are many, many, many pubs!
I don't know how I did it before homebrewing. I guess it's kinda like Evan!'s rant a while back about that meatbag waiter who came off all smug about their commercial beer selection.....there's SO many places who offer crappy selection but still get good business. Good for them....bad for us
Beamish IS better. I also like Murphy's. Mackeson's XXX is a GREAT sweet stout.

 
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
The Guinness you had was not loved and was super chilled.
It's nothing like a real glass of loved Guinness.

Thare are more bad pubs in the UK than good.
Good job there are many, many, many pubs!
On my recent trip, I was so surprised to find that the only Guinness offered in pubs that I went to was of the "Super Chilled" variety. I enjoyed the single pint I had, but it certainly wasn't what I expected.

The most disappointing thing about pubs in London was that the VAST majority of them appear to be part of a franchised chain. Very similar decor and vibe, and the EXACT SAME food menu most everywhere we went. Taken individually each one is quite nice, but I was really hoping to find something unique as I went from pub to pub. Of course this didn't stop me from sucking down numerous pints of cask conditioned ale each day, but the pubs themselves were a bit of a let down.

 
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:07 AM   #9
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It's been a few years but I once had a stop over in Shannon Ireland. It was similar to your stop. We were only there for a short while. I was able to have a pint of Guinness from tap though and I swear it was the best beer I ever tasted. It was amazing. I think a lot of my impression came from the fact that I just got off a packed 7 hour flight from the middle east and I was in dire need of a drink.

I will always have fond memories of that pint of beer.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:18 AM   #10
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My experiences with Guinness over in Germany/Amsterdam were pleasant. I wasn't the beer snob I am now, but that was my first real tastes of Guinness. Since, I've had truly awesome pints of it here in the states, and truly wretched pints of it as well. I think it is hit or miss based on the bar you get it in.

Welcome back Yuri. Saw the other posts before this one, so my PM may not make sense.
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