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Guinness Learned Young (Is Done Old)

I have to confess something. I used to play saxophone in a youth brass band when I was a boy. That's not the confession, though, it comes later. I was just trying to set some background to the story, which goes way back to when I was, what, not more than fourteen. I was heading with the orchestra for a brass band festival in the Netherlands. Purmerend, I think. But this didn't happen there rather than in some small village near the Germany-Holland border. I can't even remember the name of the place any more, but we were staying there just for the night.

Of course the big boys of the band went to the nearest pub as soon as they could. I managed to tag along dodging the suspecting eyes of the adult guardians. This would be the first time in my life I go to a pub and have a pint of beer. And that I did indeed. (No, having a beer in a pub when underaged is not the confession either.)

I can't remember any more where I had learned it, but I had the impression Guinness would be manly brand enough to order, so Guinness I had. The bartender looked at me one second too long to make me feel comfortable. I was sure he would kick the child out of the pub, even though I have (to this date!) always looked a bit older of my age. I guess keeping my fingers crossed helped since instead of showing me the door he poured me a perfect pint of dark, world famous Irish stout with a splendid creamy head.

I took a sip from my first self-bought pint ever. The taste of the pitch dark stout was way too burnt and bitter for my unacquainted young virgine taste buds. And here finally comes the aforementioned confession: I couldn't finish my pint! Well, maybe I could have, I bravely gulped down small sips one after another, but the clever bartender saw that I clearly had a bit hard time chugging down my beer. So he asked me if I liked my Guinness. I tried to assure him it was ok, but the good man made me an offer I couldn't refuse: - How about you give me that pint, he suggested pointing at my partially consumed Guinness, and I'll give you this one?

The bartender handed me a fresh pint of cold lager, which, I have to admit, was far better back then compared to the bittery burnt taste of Guinness. Later on I have of course grown a taste also for the darker side of  brew industry products. But sometimes it's just good that a professionally skilled expert in catering business knows how to read also their younger customers' needs.


Stu said...

That's great service!

Lord Hutton said...

As I dont like Guinness, that has never happened to me.

omally said...

Ah yes, the Barman Is Always Right. More customers should learn that - after all, the Barman is also (usually) sober. :)

Mads Schmidt said...

My first Guinness was from a can that I bought some time in high school. That's my confession.
Obviously now I'm older and wiser, just like you ;-)