Monday, June 02, 2003

Booze's war on Ireland

We posted last week about Ireland's perception that it is undergoing an alcohol crisis arising from violence and injuries linked to excessive consumption. But the fine letter-writers to the Irish Times have a different crisis on their minds: that due to Guinness forcing the serving of the beloved stout at an excessively cold temperature. The correspondence kicked off last week with this:

Madam, - I am a martyr for the pint. I believe there is nothing like the next one. Ten years ago I could walk off the street and go into a pub and order a pint. Not any more. Now I must first go home and get my equipment and bring it down to my local. My equipment is a blow-lamp. This is to defrost the pint and bring it to an acceptable temperature. I fail to see why publicans do not supply blow-lamps for pint-drinking customers. Now for the good news for Dublin pint drinkers. There is a licensed premises in Parliament Street which sells a pint of plain at an acceptable temperature. Don't all rush. - Yours, etc.,

This drew a followup "right on, dude" response today:
It seems that all breweries have decreed that their product must be served at a temperature so cold that it freezes the mouth and deactivates the taste buds. Guinness actually went one stage farther last year when it introduced an even colder tap which it accurately called "ice-cold". Fortunately, this doesn't seem to have caught on and is now used only in hospital ENT departments where it has been discovered to be a cheap and effective anaesthetic for patients undergoing tonsillectomy. I believe the problem lies in the marketing departments of the breweries. These are populated by small armies of post-acne bright sparks who drink either Budweiser or Heineken which, for obvious reasons, must be consumed ice cold, and who believe that everyone should have tastes similar to their own.

Globalisation: the backlash continues.