Murray pours one. Photo by Theo Douglas
Murray pours one. Photo by Theo Douglas


The world's rarest Irishman—rarer than a leprechaun, since the unicorns ate them all and then died because there were no more leprechauns to eat or else because leprechauns are actually poisonous—is your sober Irishman, and fortunately for you, I can say that and be only . . . well, about 75 percent racist because I'm about 25 percent Irish.

But anyway, I found him last week: Guinness brewmaster Fergal Murray, who was on a local bar-storming tour, at the Shamrock Bar & Grill in Newport Beach to promote St. Patrick's Day and to hype the Guinness. He ordered a Coke—and his handlers/enablers blanched, and brought him a Coke. And a Guinness—product placement. When your job is to fly around the world promoting a beer, you need a glass of it close at hand.

Murray said—and I did not know this—that there are five C's to look for in every pint of Guinness you'll ever drink. (Oddly, none of 'em were "chug." That's Keystone.) They are: Clean glasses, Clean lines, Correct beer taps, Correct gases—apparently carbon dioxide is bad—and (duh!) something called "Creating the perfect pint."

"It's a ritual," Murray said, in his most quotable salvo. (The rest was flat as a Tecate.) "The whole thing is creating an event. Other beers are given to you. Guinness is an event."

I drank to that—my Guinness. He drank his Coke. And later, I think, he had a sip of Guinness. To keep up appearances.


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