Getting a Good Pint of Guinness in Thailand

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The correct and only way to pour Guinness
The six steps to take when pouring a good pint of Guinness

Having had unfortunate experiences with the pouring of Guinness and presentation of the Fish and Chips, I gave The Red Lion, a bar-restaurant in the tourist quarter of Chiangmai, a second chance on Sunday 19 February 2023.

I had learned before, as at all restaurants that serve Guinness in Thailand, to watch the bartender carefully when he pours this beautiful drink. On Sunday, he poured the Guinness straight into the glass, no tilting or pouring slowly. I stopped him and asked if he wanted me to show him how Guinness must be poured (as they do in Ireland). His response was that he had been pouring Guinness for 12 years!

He did, however, then follow my “ instructions”: tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle when pouring to stop bubbles forming, let the drink it settle, then resume the pour. The video below shows the 6-step process for pouring the perfect pint from the Dublin based brewer, founded in 1759. The correct and only way to pour a pint of Guinness.

What is essential to remember is pouring Guinness is a two-part process which should take about 2 minutes. You don’t just pour and serve and go on to your next customer.

The Steak and Kidney pie was warm but not enjoyable to eat, the broad beans were a bit stringy. Other vegetables and the mashed potatoes were fine.

This restaurant CAN produce food and drink properly but it seems they rush the steps to do that sometimes. Their claim that they serve the cheapest Guinness in Chiangmai is certainly true. You cannot get it cheaper elsewhere. But, they make up for it by over-charging for the food. They do have a policy that they will either exchange food you are not satisfied with or not charge you. The owner is English and has run the pub for 25 years. He knows that most people don’t complain. The business model is to cater for drop-in tourists rather than to encourage repeat business and have a loyal clientele.

Is Guinness good for you?

Marketing people promote the health benefits of Guinness

Of course, drinking any alcohol should be always be done in moderation, and you should consider medical advice if you are told to abstain for health reasons. My great-aunt in North Wales swore that her longevity was due to drinking a half-pint of stout before going to bed each night. She called her drink of Macheson, Makiss. She spoke no English and lived to 93.

But, Guinness does have some health benefits over other beers. It contains antioxidant compounds which slow down deposits of cholesterol, helping to unblock arteries and reduce heart attacks. It has high iron content and contains phytoestrogen which improves bone density.

How Guinness is drunk in Ireland

A good and knowledgeable bartender will always leave the pints of Guinness to settle before completing the pour for each customer

Guinness drinkers in Ireland will patiently wait for the pour of their individual drink to be finished before taking the pint from the bar. No taking of someone’s else’s drink. Guinness is served at between 38 and 43 degrees Fahrenheit. (3 degrees Celsius). The barrels must be stored in a refrigerated room for 24 hours on delivery before being brought up to the bar. Glasses must be cool, clean. and dry.

Guinness is always served in a tulip-shaped glass. During the first pour, watch the bubbles sink to the bottom of the glass as the beer gets blacker and blacker. The finished drink should not be bubbly or have “dots” on the creamy foamy head. The beer below the head should be perfectly black and the head should be slightly over the top of the glass. Experienced bartenders and connoisseurs call that the “prow”.

Traditionally, you drink Guinness with four swallows, it is not a drink that you sip. Personally, I enjoy polishing off a good pint in six or seven swallows.

However, a friend of mine from undergraduate days claimed that he could down a pint of Guinness in one go. He would then proceed to sip the drink while continuing his boast. Eventually, someone would challenge him and offer to buy him a pint to prove his claim. Jack would then swiftly finish the drink in one go. After a few weeks, of course, we friends realised the trick he was playing to get a free drink. We did not fall for it again.

A few other facts about Guinness

Cans and bottled Guinness can not compete with a well-poured draft pint. Despite what search engines and some You-tubers say, you cannot get cans of Guinness in Thailand.

Matt Hancock was a cabinet minister in Richi Sunak’s government and was dismissed when he went on the “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” show for a fee of £320,000, leaving his constituents completely unrepresented for the duration of the show. He was also famous for being photographed drinking a badly-poured pint of Guinness.

A poet waxes lyrical about a pint of Guinness

Flanna O’Brien puts into poetry what many Guinness customers feel about their favourite drink when enjoying a “pint of plain”

2 thoughts on “Getting a Good Pint of Guinness in Thailand

  1. Еxcellent site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find good qualіty writing liкe
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    1. Thank you. We are still working to make further improvements.
      Do you have any comments on the content of the Guinness article. Anything you’d like to add. I’m encouraging readers to contribute.

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