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The Irish brewing mystique lives & thrives

IrelandEvery person who's traveled to Ireland comes back home with the same story: While visiting a small village in the absurdly green countryside, the rain begins pouring down and shelter is sought in one of the twelve pubs standing side by side on the main street -- some doubling as grocers, undertakers and taxi hires -- and once inside, as a grizzled old man in a tiny felt cap stands in the corner playing a tin whistle, the man behind the bar devotes the next ten minutes to pulling the creamiest pint of Guinness ever, complete with your family crest traced in the foam, which draws a favorable comment in a language that sounds suspiciously like English from the local sitting next to you, all of these images continuing to unfold in ever expanding cycles of pints and narratives until hours have slipped away and the experience has dissolved into scenes from one of the James Joyce novels that you'd never been able to finish.

It is true, or has the traveler become trapped in the unavoidable vortex of Irish hospitality and garrulous disregard for the facts? The answer is up to the individual.

For quite some time now, Irish beer drinking has been confined to one of three major brands of dry stout (Guinness, Murphy's and Beamish), a handful of malty reddish ales along the lines of Smythwick's , and numerous golden lagers of the international, standardized variety. Lately, as the Irish economy has improved and the country has taken on the new, exciting identity as Europe's Celtic Tiger, the microbrewing revolution has begun to take root.

For more information on one of these, see the following:

Economic progress will change Ireland, both for good and for bad, but the island probably never will be a very good place to be in a hurry, and this bodes well for the future of the leisurely, sustained, life-giving pint -- whatever the source.


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 Rich O's Public House
 3312 Plaza Drive
 New Albany, IN 47150
 (812) 949-2804
 info@richos.com
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