I was reading an article last week that the first Thursday of November is International Stout Day! They were saying that the old advertising slogan "Guinness is good for you" is apparently true. While Diageo, the manufacturer of the black stuff, makes no health claims for the product, recent research here shows a pint of Guinness a day is actually good for your health.
So it got me thinking of my own relationship with “the black stuff” (and I dug out some photos of our work outing in November 2015 to the Guinness Storehouse).
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a light weight when it comes to
the drink. It typically puts me to sleep! What you may not know is that I got drunk on Guinness at the age of 3!!
Now the backdrop to this story is exactly that notion, once widely-held in Ireland, that Guinness is a health drink. Sure why else do we raise our glasses to Sláinte! (Which for non-Gaeilgeoirí is the Irish saying for “cheers” and literally translates to “health.” Coincidence? I think not). There was a time that doctors would encourage pregnant women to drink Guinness as they believed it was good for the baby (but those days are long gone now!!).
Anyway, my mother, Peggy, believed it was “full of iron” and whenever my Dad, Mickey got a “Large Bottle” on takeaway from Sheehan’s Pub down the road, he would share a mugful with Peggy …and Martin and I would get a sip from another cup with sugar in it.
This particular night, Mickey poured the mug of Guinness for Peggy; who then went to answer the door leaving it on the table behind Mickey. On her return there was no sign of the Guinness. They were both baffled as to where it had vanished ….until minutes later they noticed me staggering around the floor with a glazed look in my eyes. I had downed it in one slug! What bothered Peggy most was that Dr. Flanagan had visited me a few days earlier as I had a chest infection and he had vowed to come back a couple of days later to observe me. If he dropped in now, how would she ever explain that the child was DRUNK! (Luckily he didn’t call that day and I had sobered up by the time he did).
Another time, my brother Martin (aged about 11 at the time) was sent down with a note and money to Sheehan’s Bar to get a Large Bottle. In those days, it was not uncommon to send a child on a message for fags or alcohol. At the time the Mollerans (our local GAA Club) were operating a Club House in one of the empty houses in Mass Road. (A few of the families had been rehoused in either Kennedy Terrace or Connolly Park and the Carrick-Beg Community Centre had yet to be built.) On coming back up the road Martin overheard Fr. Farrell calling out the name of someone he knew as a winner in the Silver Circle Draw. Bursting with excitement to tell Peggy, he raced up the road, tore in the hallway and skidded on the doormat.
The much-wanted Large Bottle flew out of his grasp and up in the air before exploding on the floor. Having given a few seconds consideration on whether she could lick it up without cutting her tongue on the glass, Peggy gave Martin a few wallops and sent him to bed. Twenty minutes later when the red mist had lifted …..and the stout was cleaned up, she brought him back up for tea. “No point in crying over spilt stout”, she said.
So, my early life experience of Guinness prepared me well for my visit to where it all happens in Dublin. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years almost to the week since my visit. I went on a work night out with my Finance Dept. friends to the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE; arguably one of Dublin’s most iconic attractions which is hugely popular with visitors to the capital. You don’t visit the factory per se but this seven-storey experience walks you through how the world-famous drink is made, the relationship it has to Dublin/ Ireland and then you get to sample it for yourself at the end in the panoramic Gravity Bar.
My favourite bits of the visit, after the 360° panoramic views from Gravity Bar, included learning to pull a pint:
…..and we and also got to see the floor dedicated to the world of Guinness advertising….everything from Toucans, Ostriches, Surfers and everything in between. Guinness has gifted us some cracking ads over the years. My favourite is the “Surfer” shot by Diageo in 1999 in Hawaii. Now I myself can’t even swim but for me this is a real candidate for the best ad ever made. This sure brought back memories:
We ended on a high, literally, in the seventh storey Gravity Bar where the views of Dublin are amazing:
I could even locate my own apartment, once I located the Custom House:
…..and we finished the visit sipping tall pints of “the black stuff” and telling tall tales. And unlike my 3-year old self, I didn’t get drunk this time!!! 🤣🤣 Sláinte!
Bucket List Items Partly Ticked Off in the above Blog post
Number 39 - Food & Drink - Drink Regional Drink - Guinness in Dublin, Ireland
Other Blog Posts
Blog 7 - Alice Springs, Australia
Blog 8 - Adelaide, Australia
Blog 9 - Melbourne, Australia
Blog 10 - Cairns, Australia
Blog 11 - Sydney, Australia
Blog 16 - Books 8 of 80 to read now!
Do you like Guinness? Have you been to the Guinness Storehouse? Let me know in the Comments Below
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My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!