Tuesday, February 27, 2007


209 Guinness

We are fast approaching St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone’s Irish and everyone who drinks will drink Guinness. It’s an acquired taste and some of us have spent decades rigorously and regularly acquiring it, or trying to.

It’s bitter stuff. But it’s you’re patriotic duty to have at least one on or about March 17th every year. Ordinarily, that line would read “…to have at least a pint on or about March 17th.” But, taking a tip from us much smarter American marketing geniuses, they have reduced the size of the can to 11-point-something ounces. This would be a matter of national shame in Dublin (or even Belfast,) but here, it’s just another US-style “improvement.”

Do they think we’re going to have just one of these? It brings new meaning to the phrase micro brew.

The people who make this stuff have also made a series of very funny television ads about drinking responsibly. Well, how about a little responsibility over there, people! If you want us to just have one, then give us a full one, not some skimpy shadow of a real brew.

The Germans, the British, the Canadians, the Austrlians (ESPECIALLY the Australians) even the American beer monoliths still make 12 and 16 ounce cans and bottles. What’s with you stingies? You maybe think leprechauns are all of a sudden too small to lift a full can? (No self respecting leprechaun would drink the stuff out of ANY size can or bottle. On tap is the only way. But you get the picture.)

Further, they’re sticking these little nitrogen releasing pills in each of the cans and bottles now. Supposedly it makes it taste better. (Earth to the brewery: It tastes lousy no matter what you do to it. It’s supposed to. It’s like the bitter herbs at Passover. Reminds you of the tough times. Only unlike the herbs, after a few cans, you don’t care anymore.) The little nitrogen pills take up room. Room that could be used for more stout.

These pills are called “widgets.” Widget used to be a generic term. Many people applied it to many different things. Now, Guinness is trying to expropriate the term. Another shameful act.

You may be interested in knowing that they have not removed any strings from the harp logo at the same time they removed part of an ounce from the can. At least they respect SOME traditions.

Nevertheless, they should go to their “book of world records” department (it’s probably in the same building) and enter this cheap trick into it under “record stingy beer tricks.”

And if they don’t have that category (along with the world’s biggest zucchini and the highest number of university students to cram into an English phone booth) they should.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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