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"Ireland - The Best Pint of Beer on the Planet"

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Jan 15th, 2013, 08:27 AM
  #1
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"Ireland - The Best Pint of Beer on the Planet"

So said food guru Anthony Bourdain, whose shows I really love, on his Lay Over show after visiting Dublin - he said the Irish serve up "the best pint of beer on the whole planet" - a pint of Guinness and another lighter beer were on the table when he said that.

T'is true - the best pint of draught beer is found in Ireland?

Well not to me - I don't even really like the burnt taste of Guinness that much or Irish/British beers in general - they seem watered down when compared to say a nice Dutch or Belgian Pils or German Lager.

Actually I'd say the best glass of beer could be found in Belgium, which I believe has one of the highest beer consumption rates in the world.

"Pils, please" is the gateway to beer heaven in Belgium.

Where do you think you get the best pint of beer on this planet?
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Jan 15th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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You are a heathen Pal.
Find a real ale in the UK. It is a complex drink, full of flavour and a joy. Nothing like the lightweight gassy stuff served in most Europe. I mean lightweight in flavour not alcohol btw.
Last year when in Oxfordshire we went to the Radnor arms where they brew and serve Old Forge Ales. Nectar. http://www.oldforgebrewery.co.uk/

I don't like fruit beers but will drink a tripel or a bok occasionally, but they still can't compare to a true artisan brewed ale.

Guinness in Ireland is a completely different beer to Guinness anywhere else in the world. I like Guinness in Ireland. Undrinkable anywhere else.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 09:15 AM
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The best beer comes from Burnley in Lancashire (Moorhouses).

http://www.moorhouses.co.uk/site/our...nt-cask-beers/
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Jan 15th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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I search out bitter ales. The Irish examples I tasted last year were not up to the English standard of bitterness (although some of them were very nice if soft.)
In a large Dublin pub the lady on the next barstool, from England, made the same complaint. I persuaded her to try an import, which she pronounced satisfactory. It was Sierra Nevada pale ale, made in the interior of California and found on draught at a number of Irish pubs.
Beer is coming to resemble that other mass-produced commodity, cars, where the distinctions between the countries of origin are fading. Guinness is owned by Diagio, a British conglomerate that is the world's biggest spirits company. Heineken, big in Ireland, owns more than 130 breweries worldwide. The biggest brewer of all, InBev Anheuser-Busch, operates from Belgium without eliminating that tiny country's wealth of specialized craft beers.
So I say go small, go local, if you can, but Sierra Nevada makes a tasty fallback position.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Hi PQ,

>... I'd say the best glass of beer could be found in Belgium, ...<

I am partial to Staropramen (Czech).

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Jan 15th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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I fully admit that I am primarily a wine drinker. However when I do drink beer I want it very cold - not tepid - and prefer lager - have had numerous good ones - many regional - in Germany, Czech and Belgium.

I don't get British beer - but then my limit is one small one - I suppose if you are drinking multiple pints having something watered down makes sense.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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I also prefer wine but if beer is all there is then I want it to be at room temperature, not that the odd German wheat beer is not nice but the affect of the cold on the mouth and stomach is unpleasant.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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"Watered down"!! Most strange - when I have been travelling, one of the things I really enjoy about getting home is my first pint of "real" beer - something with a bit of flavour rather than the gassy, tasteless lagers so common everywhere.

That said, I had some excellent beers in the US last year and was genuinely surprised at the sheer variety and availability of smaller brewery products. Some of the IPAs were exceptional, although when you start getting up over 6% alcohol it is time to be careful.

I was terribly disappointed in Guiness in Dublin - I had expected so much more. On the other hand some of the beers at the Porterhouse and At Messers Maguire were excellent.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Eric Idle asked the question "Why is American beer like making love in a canoe?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtgKkifJ0Pw
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Jan 15th, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Cold beer has little no flavour - that is why lager is served cold. If you try drinking at anything warmer than about 5C it is truly awful, whereas at 5C it is merely cold and easy to drink.
A good ale has as complicated a palate as a good wine. It needs to be savoured and enjoyed. You need to learn to drink an ale. You need no experience to down a cold lager, which is why Britain is full of young lager louts. They want something cold and tasteless but alcoholic to get as drunk as possible.

No shame in buying a half if a pint is too much for you, but lager is also sold in half pint and pints in the UK, rather than the half full foamy small glasses pils is served in in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Ales generally are between 3.5% and about 5%. Pilsner is generally around 5%. One reason for the lower alcohol content is the excise duty applied to beer in the UK.

It is normal at for instance the Oktoberfest for the beer to be watered down by adding water to your glass, if only so you can last the evening. In the Netherlands we have evenementenbier - watered down beer for at festivals, football matches and the like.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 02:36 PM
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I used to work with an Irish gent who had previously owned a pub in Ireland.

When he migrated to the states, he became part owner in a pub in California. The Irish beers tasted terrible, he said.

The first thing he did was have a custom blend of gases made that were the same as Guinness in Ireland. It tripled his sales of Guinness. It's all in the mixture.

In Socal is a great place called 'the Olde Ship'. They also custom blend their gases. I'll stop by there whenever I'm down that way.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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I like Guinness and I like the Irish bar culture, but Bourdain is talking out of his ... on this one. There are any number of better brews in Belgium, the UK, the US, and even France.
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Jan 17th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Beer isn't my thing, I'm a wino, but I did enjoy a Guiness at Matt malloy's in Westport.
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