Each time I look at her silently I have the same sentence in my thoughts: my Goodness, she’s so good! Before I have been watching quietly, catching every small detail, with the certain imminent hedonistic pleasure, with the same calm with which she becomes full, and knowing the subtle and deep colour she reflects in the gloom, a dark ruby shadow. The ceremony how I gently bow her with the left hand while the right gently caress. The patient waiting before slowly bringing her closer to my lips. The nice black velvet bitter taste that transpires. And it all started with a muffled scream among the crowd.
- Hi sweetheart! May I have a pint of Guinness, please?
On the desk of the Temple Bar, the one with the bright red classical facade that appears on any poster or Dublin guide, heart and mirror of a booming neighbourhood beside the River Liffey, is absolutely packed. No whispers allowed. Live music is at its peak and the audience does not speak, shout together. Beer taps don’t stop. People come and go. Still there are those who try to enter to find a good place where guitar chords born playing some version of The Pogues or near barley juice, black gold, supply source: the bar.
About ten million pints are served daily around one hundred fifty countries. Since Arthur Guinness rented the site of Saint James's Gate one December 31, 1759 for a period of nine thousand (yes, 9,000) years for 45 pounds a year, the company has expanded over time. Initially there was a kind of thick stout ale and in 1778 it became the porter how, more or less is still made today. After conquering Ireland, Sir Arthur conquered London and from there the whole world.
Saint James's Gate has become since 1997 a successful visitor centre showing the process of making the famous drink from the fermentation of the grain to the final storage casks until the aluminium barrels replaced them. In the vast building reflecting a Guinness pint glass shape, which certainly would house the not inconsiderable amount of fourteen million pints, it’s explained the history of the company, and how is manufactured and processed the precious liquid. Not missing a store stocked with paraphernalia and memorabilia, a restaurant, a couple of bars, one of them suitable for practice with precision due to forearm strength, shooting a pint marking the perfect times during breaks and in the amounts.
Also is on display an assorted packaging exhibition, both glass and tin, pasts and present, who have been used to preserve beer and the advertisings and publicity developed by the brand in different periods of its history, from the assorted and colourful John Gilroy thirties design where animals as kangaroos, sea lions and ostriches repeated ad nauseum: My Goodness, My Guinness!, to the famous and almost perennial Tucan who still decorates multitude of classic pubs walls skilfully carrying a couple of pints on its peak.
It also explained the transformation over time of their logos. The harp is nothing less than the famous instrument known as O'Neill or Brian Boru, whose fourteenth century original is preserved in the Long Room of the Library of Dublin Trinity College and, as a nation emblem also decorates the obverse of 1 euro coins.
Visit is completed on the top floor, a true 360-degree viewpoint over the city, with a circular bar in the centre, where, as a culmination, pints are served. From Gravity Bar, 150 feet above the ground, you have a great view of the Irish capital, the Church of Saint Augustine and John, Saint Patrick, Christchurch, Trinity, and in the distance, the Wicklow Mountains, which assert that comes from the best water for brewing beer.
Needless, to say insulting, ask for any other brand. The Pint, in capital letters, is served cool, not cold, to 6 degrees Celsius. Because foam produced by the high pressure nitrogen should be left to stand for a while. According to the company it takes 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint redounding to the Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.
And waiting, local band starts the chords of a great classic of Irish traditional music: Three young ladies drinking whiskey before breakfast. With the suggestion and the hurly-burly, I notice that I'm dry. I turn to the bar and, as every time I look at her silently I have the same sentence in my thoughts: my Goodness, she’s so good! Before I have been watching quietly, catching every small detail, with the certain imminent hedonistic pleasure, with the same calm with which she becomes full. She’s so sweet. Her name is Elaine and kindly she looks at me while she serves my second pint.