I don’t know if you knew this, but Ireland has a lot of places to drink. “Pubs.” That’s the street name for these places to drink. Inside these “pubs,” you can get some fine beers on tap. (Side note: You don’t tip bartenders in Ireland, just one more example of Irish hospitality. I left a tip on the bar, and the bartender actually pushed it towards me and said I paid too much. This gesture would not happen in LA, where bartenders charge you a dollar for filling up a glass with tap water.) So in Ireland, there’s this kind of beer that seems to be pretty popular. It’s called “Guinness.” I’m sure they’ll start exporting it to the rest of the world soon.
But there’s a bit of a rivalry going on when it comes to which beer to drink in Ireland. Guinness seems to be the official beer brand of Dublin, but for Cork, they have their own favorite. It’s called Murphy’s. Both are dark stouts, but they each have their own flavor. Now I have to say, I’ve tried both, and it’s not just because I liked Cork better than Dublin, but I preferred Murphy’s. It’s not as bitter as Guinness, and it’s a little lighter in body. Does that make me less of a man, that I prefer the lighter, sweeter beer? Some might say yes. “Ooh, little American boy can’t handle the strength of Guinness. He can’t withstand something that tastes like you’re drinking a loaf of bread.” Well guess what? I usually don’t even drink beer. I’m a wine guy. Yeah, wine. Cheese plate-nibbling, cardigan sweater-wearing wine. People should be grateful I was even drinking beer. So there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to work out on the low impact elliptical machine at my local gymnasium.