Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 7 December, 2023
pour me

Dublin barman with 45yrs experience hits back at "one pour" Guinness claims

Is the traditional Guinness pour nothing but a “marketing myth”?

SHOCK REVERBERATED AROUND the internet yesterday as BuzzFeed published an article claiming that the classic two-pour Guinness method was “the greatest marketing myth in history.”

The piece claims that the “pour, wait, top up” method is in fact not necessary – nor does it affect the quality of the pint. The “surge” or the “settle”, BuzzFeed states, is nothing more than marketing spin from Diageo, the group who operate Guinness.

BuzzFeed go on to claim that when Guinness replaced their traditional wooden casks with nitrogen-charged metal kegs in the 1950s, the two-pour “myth” came into play to convince punters that the stout was just as good. According to them, this might have been necessary after the initial switch but is no longer truly required.

This prompted outrage on Twitter:

In order to verify or refute these audacious claims, spoke to Seán of Grogans on Castlemarket in Dublin 2, regularly billed as one of the top pubs in the country to get an authentic pint of the black stuff.

“I’ve been pulling pints for 45 years… We pour thousands, not hundreds, but thousands of pints here every week,” he said, adding: “And it needs two pulls.”

paularps / Flickr paularps / Flickr / Flickr

When asked why exactly Guinness requires the two-pull method, he cited “a load of bubbles otherwise” as a key issue. He said that customers “wouldn’t like it” also.

Unless you want it slopped together, like they serve you in England. It’s a matter of presentation, too, to pull a pint properly. A one-pour pint is an Arthurs Day pint.

Seán confirmed that he spoke as both “a pourer and a drinker” of Guinness to back up his position. And his view is echoed strongly the producers themselves, with this taken from the FAQ section of the Guinness website

In the pub, the perfect pint of Guinness draught is served using our famous “two-part” pour. First, start with a clean, dry glass. Pour the Guinness draught into a glass tilted at 45 degeres, until it is three-quarters full. Allow the surge to settle before filling the glass completely to the top.

So, tell us. Do you reckon the two-part pour method is a matter of tradition, science – or necessity?

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