Due to popular demand, I have updated this information with a step by step pictorial guide.
Most visitors to Ireland can’t wait to try a real pint of Guinness.
They are right. It’s the only country where you can get a real pint. The foreign stuff is the piss they scrape off the top. They have to get rid of it somewhere.
However, your first pint is potentially the most lethal trap you will have to encounter. 99% of tourists give themselves away on this one. So here is how to do it….
Enter the pub. Look nonchalant. Don’t look as if you are about to have a life changing experience. Walk casually to the bar and wait. Don’t call the barman. Don’t rap a coin on the counter. He’ll come to you.
If he speaks with a foreign accent, get the f*ck out of there. He won’t know how to pull a pint.
He’ll ask you what you want. Just say “pint, please”. If he asks “a pint of what?” then scowl at him and snarl “Guinness, of course”. Most barmen won’t ask anyway, as Guinness is the ‘pint’ by default.
He will then take a pint glass and fill it about two thirds to three quarters full and place it on the counter.
First Trap: LEAVE THE DRINK THERE. DON’T TOUCH IT! The barman will probably walk away. Don’t mind that. Just stare into the distance. Go have a pee or a quick fag. But you must wait.
After a minute or two, he will come back and top it up to a full pint. Again DO NOTHING. Just wait. He will tinker around with it for a moment, and will eventually bring it over to you.
If he has engraved a shamrock in the head of the pint, then I suggest you sit down and write out your Last Will and Testament. You are as good as dead. The barman has spotted that you are a tourist and has flagged you. The locals look for this and will be quietly loading ammunition into their guns.
Second Trap [assuming you are still alive]: DON’T TOUCH THE PINT. It will still be settling. You have to wait until there is a crisp demarcation line between the black and the white. The longer you wait, the better. At this stage, it is perfectly acceptable to stare at the pint.
Third trap: The locals will be watching you to see how you approach the pint. If you try and slurp the white head off [or even worse, blow it off] you have signed your death certificate. The chances are that you will be hung off the wall and the locals will use you as a dartboard for the rest of the night.
Another fatal error is to sip the pint. Sipping is for nancies and their glasses of wine. This is Guinness, for f*ck’s sake. You grasp the glass firmly in your fist and gulp back at least a quarter, if not a third of the contents. Act like this is the first drink you’ve had since coming out of the desert [which it is].
At this stage, the locals will begin to relax. You are quite entitled to burp at this stage [actually, it's unavoidable], but don’t do it too loudly.
If you are a wimp, and don’t like the taste, DON’T SHOW IT. Keep calm. Nip up and order a whiskey. That is acceptable. It’s called a Chaser. But you must finish the pint before knocking back the whiskey. [Which would you rather? Drinking a Guinness, or being shot?].
The chances are, you will like it. You can relax now. You can now savour it a mouthful at a time.
To really convince the locals that you are not a tourist, wait until you have about two inches left in the glass. Then catch the barman’s eye and raise one finger. This is the signal to start processing the next pint. This should arrive just as you finish the first.
Of course this now means that you have to continue ordering pints. Don’t worry about it. You have survived, and that is something to celebrate [if you need an excuse, that is?].
All this has made me thirsty. I think I’ll go and have a pint or five.
It is, after all, Puppychild’s third birthday.
It is time she was introduced to her first pint.