What happened to Irish Beer

Reactions to and impressions of commercial and home made beers and beverages. Travelling and experiencing beers from around the world.

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What happened to Irish Beer

Postby fitz » Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:18 am

I just got back from a business trip. Stopped at Bennigan's(restaurant) for dinner and a few beers. Food was good, but as I drank an almost warm Harp Lager, I realized something was wrong. No, not just it being warm. The flavor wasn't the same as before. I read the label, and it is now brewed in Canada. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Cananda or her beers, but the Harp Lager was definitely not the Harp Lager I once knew.
I guess you can't even rely on an import to be the import you once knew. It truely is a sad day in beer!
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"imports"

Postby jayhawk » Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:05 am

Yeah, that is too bad fitz. Guiness has the same problem. Apparently Molson is liscensed to brew Guiness for the Canadian market, so one is never sure if the pint you order is real guiness or not. True imported Guinness is available in stores, but you really have to read the fine print to find out where the beer is from. Good old globalization huh?
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What;s good about it

Postby fitz » Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:57 am

Like I said before, Canada has made a few good beers in the past, but Harp isn't one of them. I think they try to "globalize" the recipe too. If I wanted american swill beer, I'd buy it.
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My Goodness!

Postby Gravity Thrills » Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:43 pm

There have been numerous satellite breweries that brew Guinness Stout for world consumption for a long time. A decade ago I visited the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin and the number of other breweries around the world contracted to brew Guinness was 28 at that time. Not only is there nothing on Earth like a pint from St. James Gate - there is absolutely nothing like a Dt. James pint at pub temperature in a Dublin Bar!

As far as Harp, here's my own (admittedly petty) take. I know there have always been big Harp supporters but I don't care if it is good - on principal I think lager doesn't need to be brewed in Ireland (For that matter, Coors should not push a red lager as authentic "Irish" style beer. 'cuz it ain't). I felt the same way about Sam Smiths Old Brewery Lager from the Tadcaster brewery, and then found out that beer is ONLY brewed for export sale.

Sadly, the drinking youth of the UK are forgetting their ale heritage and joining the legions of lager mass-consumers. So, when market share is an issue, brewers can't really be as purist and pickey about tradition as one would hope. Oh well, fight the good fight - drink the good beer!
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Irish beer

Postby Raydownunder » Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:39 pm

G'Day
I lived and worked in a pub in London for 18 months in the late 70's and every Wed night a group of us including a mad bunch or Irishman would do a pub crawl all nite. The thing I remember is the Irishman saying Guiness will never cross the water. To this day I believe they are right.
Ray Mills
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my goodness there goes my Guinness!!

Postby Fraoch » Fri Feb 28, 2003 12:02 am

Australia guinness used to be really bitter, and then they changed the recipe, said it was to be the same as Irish Guinness.B.S!! Ive been Harping on about a metallic taste to the "new
" guinness since it arrived.Brewed by a large Australian brewer on license,"real Guinness" died years ago when Guinness became a huge marketing comglomerate and the advertising and idea became more important than the beer.You're right when you say that a pint from St james's Gate is THE only pint to judge.Does anyone know exactly the hop formula for Guinness?? I suspect Bullion, but i also know that Australia DO NOT grow any UK hops and the buggers are more than likely using Pride Of Ringwood, the least noble of all hops( apart from "super pride AAU's 13 - 14%).I couldnt agree more with this thread.Ireland makes great stout because ireland has great stout water!!! Simple!!You are no longer drinking Guinness stout, you are drinking a franchise!
Irish pubs with all the "Irish' music they feel obliged to pipe out like elevator music are taking over the world, fake horse brasses made from die cast metal can be bought along with the "irish pub kit" i joke not.You can buy a complete irish pub and have it shipped to you,pick your model,beaten copper bar??? cost a bit extra.
Where am i going with all this? Who knows? but all of asudden you realise that your Guinness aint what it used to be and you get fed up listening to the Pogues everytime you set foot inside a so called irish pub.Could this be the death knell for themed pubs??? i certainly hope so!

a very "pushing my buttons here" Fraoch
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You got it

Postby jayhawk » Fri Feb 28, 2003 9:56 am

The whole situation is a syptom of what I feel is a general societal decay where genuine quality is cast aside for a quick buck. I think people are craving for cultural experiences, and they simply are not finding satisfaction from their suburban homes...I know I am not. What those phony lisenced Guiness/Harp etc brewers are selling us, apart from a pale reflection of the real beer, is a fleeting glimpse of culture. People don't buy Guiness purely for the beer; quaffing a pint of Guiness carries a certain cultural association. In today's world we can buy in to heritage, irregardless of bloodlines. The irony is that the inadequacy of western culture stems from the commercialization of culture and the selling out of all that is sacred, be it our heritage, music, environment etc., and when we buy a piece of "culture" (ie crappy Aussie/Canadian/USA Guiness) we are only perpetuating our cultural erosion.

Homebrewers of the world UNITE!
Chris
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AMEN

Postby fitz » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:38 am

As Gibson said in Braveheart,
FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

Excuse me, I have to go brew my Harp Equivallent!
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I'm Glad

Postby fitz » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:41 am

I'm glad I'm not alone on this one.
It kind of reminds me of the old practises. I heard the "traders" used to do to the mountain men in the frontier days. Water down the Whiskey, and jack up the prices, because they mountain men didn't know any better.
Well, the mountain men did know better, but there wasn't much they could do about it, since that was the only game in town.
Thank God for Homebrewing, or our world would be lost to bad or mediocre beer.
Beers to Ya,
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Price still imported

Postby l48shark » Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:15 am

The thing that upsets me the most is that I am still expected to pay Dublin prices for Canadian beer. I have not purchased a Harp since.
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Hail to the micro brewers and homebrewers!

Postby Brewer2001 » Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:33 am

I think Chris hit it on the head! But all is not lost, yet. The micro brewers are brewing beers and ales that are 'truer' to there original style for the more educated consumer.
I myself was dupped by the Guinness 'clone' while trying to develope a dry stout. Another problem is that most micro brewers do not brew a dry stout, there stout is great but it is more like a porter, chocolate or an imperial. I hope enough people, consumers and brewers remember what the Guinness profile was and brew it before it dies.

As a semi-pro I promse to do my best to brew a real Irish dry stout, or my name is not Flanagan!

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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