Today I was going to write about creating the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, because it is St. Patrick’s Day, it is a great time to write about and celebrate my love for Guinness. I know, I can hear your moans of disappointment. I’ll write about the perfect PB&J another time. Promise. Now, please understand, I rarely drink these days, because I have found that for me, anti-depressant meds and alcohol don’t mix well. If I enjoy one beer, chances are great that I will become quite sleepy within an hour and I will have a headache come sunrise. Still, my love for Guinness is as strong as it was the day I tried my first one.
Years ago, while traveling abroad, my friend met several people. She became quite close with two guys from Hemel-Hempstead, a town in Hertfordshire, England. Interested in visiting the guys again, she invited me on a trip to England in May 1997. It was my first trip across the big pond, and we had a wonderful time. While in England, we checked into the cost of flights to Ireland. The price was right, so we decided to spend a couple of nights in Dublin, staying at a Hostel.
When one goes to Dublin, it should be a rule to tour the Guinness Brewery. As an incentive, you are given a free half pint of Guinness after the tour. And, it was after the tour that I sipped my very first Guinness. The picture above was taken during this life-changing moment. The fact that someone next to us was wearing a team shirt documenting the month and year of this momentousness event was priceless. I enjoyed the half pint so much that I went up to the bar to see if I could buy another one. I was embarrassed to find out one could not buy pints or half pints, though I realized it was safer to limit the Guinness consumption. Plus, one need only walk a couple of blocks to find a local pub serving fresh Guinness.
My friend and I did not go pub hopping that afternoon, but it was the start of our love affair for Guinness. And during the rest of our trip, I took many pictures of glasses filled with freshly poured Guinness, topped with a shamrock drawn in the thick foam head. Nearly 13yrs later, my love affair with Guinness continues. If I am going to have a beer, my first choice is always Guinness, and I keep Guinness in the fridge just in case. Perhaps tonight, during our Wednesday night routine of PB&Js and a movie, I will enjoy a Guinness. Who knows, my traveling friend may enjoy a Guinness today, too. Are you afraid of the dark? Have a pint of Guinness. “Try it. You’ll like it.”