How to Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, According to Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray
Today is the glorious annual celebration of Ireland's most recognized patron saint, Saint Patrick. St. Patty's Day is arguably the most bro of all holidays. It's the one day a year when bros everywhere can “responsibly” drink as much as they damn please, sing/slur Irish drinking songs, and push the limits of disorderly conduct. Plus, Gingers rejoice! It's the one day a year that you might have to work a little less hard to get laid. Aside from the color green and shamrocks, there's one thing that comes to mind when bros think St. Patrick's Day and that's Guinness. Last September, BroBible spent some time in Dublin with Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray for the Guinness 250th Anniversary celebration. He showed us how to pour the perfect pint and the right way to drink a Guinness. Earlier this week, Fergal was in New York for some pre-St. Patty's festivities so we stopped by Legends in Midtown to catch up over a pint. Aside from walking us through the essentials for a bro-worthy St. Patty's Day, Fergal told us about the brand new (and free) Guinness iPhone app (opens in iTunes), equipped with a tutorial for pouring the perfect pint, a pint head ruler, and a city-by-city pub finder, so you won't make the mistake of walking into a bar that doesn't serve Ireland's sweet, sweet nectar. Here's what the Master Brewer himself had to add:
BroBible: What should every guy be doing on St. Patty's day?
Fergal Murray: Two routes to that. If you're in it for the long haul, load up on a good breakfast of ham and eggs. Next, wear less green. Try not to completely overdo it and just subtly wear a little bit of green to show you're interested in being Irish for the day. Make sure you have a good wingman or a designated like-minder. Get somebody to bring the water across every now and again, a wing lady perhaps? Search out some good food during the day. Make sure you enjoy the day safely and enjoy your beer. If you're not doing that, casually go down and order a couple of gorgeous pints of Guinness with some oysters and just sit back and don't dare drink something other than an Irish product because that would be sacrilegious and pathetic anyway. Overall, just prepare yourself for the following day when you get to go watch March Madness on TV. Take your picks and drink sensibly.
What's the perfect meal to wash down with a Guinness on St. Patty's Day?
FM: [Licking off his Guinness moustache] On St. Patrick's Day, you need to keep the energy levels up so after your ham and eggs in the morning and a few pints, next thing you want to do is sit down for some natural seafood — probably a few oysters, some shrimp, and salmon on brown bread. Again, if you're in it for the long haul, you're definitely going to need to get some heavy-duty Irish beef stew in there. Late night, you'll probably be eating some barbecue chicken or Guinness burgers. You'll have some nice “Guinness ice cream” to wash it down.
And how about a remedy for the day after?
FM: Why stop? Do it all over again!
What does St. Patty's mean to you and the Guinness family?
FM: It's a great day to be Irish and a great day to associate our national product with Ireland. It means that people will probably go out and order one of our beers so we have to make sure we make it taste good and look good behind the bar so people can be sure to experience the great taste and great look of Guinness. It's the biggest selling day globally, which is something to be proud of and we want to make sure that people savor that moment of drinking a Guinness.
How much Guinness is poured around the world on St. Pattys?
FM: We estimate approximately 13 million glasses. As I said, it's our biggest selling day of the year and Guinness is certainly the most called for beer on St. Patrick's Day.
What should every bro know about drinking Guinness?
FM: He must have some buddies around with him. He must make sure the bartender delivers the perfect pint — and what I mean there is he wants to see it surge, settle, cascade, and build the strength in the head so he can put the dome on the top. He needs to pick up that pint, take that moment of wonder where he looks at the work of art in his hands before he gets the bonus of tasting that wonderful flavor. He should stand there and look proud when he drinks, feeling like a man, looking out at all the other people drinking other things. Elbow up and enjoy that explosion of flavor as the sweetness, roastiness, and barliness all impact at the same time.
What's your take on green beer?
FM: Phsstt… no comment [laughs].