Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
I'm sure you've heard by now, but this will be the last weekend, ever, for Conor O'Neill's. As a veteran of countless Boulder bar crawls - Conor's was even the jumping off point for my 21st birthday party - it's like saying that this is going to be the last Thanksgiving ever. The humble Irish Pub is an important fixture of the Boulder's drinking establishment, and it's a crime against the very fabric of the town to hear that it's shutting down for good. Shame, shame, shame on those that are pushing this venerable institution to the curb in favor of... whatever hack faux-hipster bullshit will, inevitably, take it's place on the Mall.
Anyways, as many of you are undoubtedly planning, as well, I've scheduled a trip to Conor's this weekend to send the old girl out in style. And, of course, when I hit up Conor's, there's only one drink on the menu: Guinness. That black nectar of the gods is this week's beer-of-the-week.
I was surprised to realize that I've never featured this beer before as a gameday selection. Guinness is a stable brew, after all, for consumers everywhere. You'd have thought, after six years, I'd have gotten around to 'a pint of the black stuff' at some point. Oh well, guess I'll just have to make up for lost time.
Guinness is, I assume, the national beverage of the good people of Ireland. Whether or not that's actually true (in retrospect, it's probably whiskey, which is also #good) is immaterial. What is important, however, is that the Irish not only invented this dry stout, but then chose to bless the rest of the world with its presence. Poured motor-oil black from a nitrogen-infused tap or can, the celebrated cascade effect allows for a perfect pint wherever you are. There's not much on the nose, but the taste is bready malt and toast, with a milky/creamy backing. Eminently drinkable, you can session with Guinness for hours, should you choose. Owners Diageo move nearly 2 billion pints of this stuff per year, much of it on St Patrick's Day, making it one of the most popular brands in the world.
Discussion of Guinness actually allows me to bring up one of the more interesting beer inventions in the history of the industry: the widget. Finding a way to bring the pub experience of the nitrogen-infused pour home was a focus of the brewers in the late 1960s. Their response was to drop a internal component into each can and bottle to release the gas upon opening, and thus the widget was born. Without it, Guinness would taste verrrrry different at your tailgate. This tactic, of course, was further improved with Lefthand's widgetless nitrogenation for their Milk Stout, which is probably my favorite stout around.
Regardless, you know Guinness, and you know you want one. Further, you know you want it from one of the taps at Conor O'Neill's before they tear it down. Find your way down to 13th and Lawry right quick, while you still can.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Beavers!