Almost 4,000 miles northeast of Des Moines is Ireland’s historic capital, Dublin. Amidst St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Dublin Castle is St. James’s Gate. Located near the south quays and the River Liffey, this historic building was once the starting point for Irish pilgrims to travel to Spain. But in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for the property, it turned into a brewery. For more than 250 years, St. James’ Gate has been the headquarters for the Irish beer giant Guinness. Today, Guinness does everything it can to follow in the traditional footsteps of its founder, but it adds a modern twist to keep people dedicated to the masterful quality. “That’s why we’ve begun introducing more beer options under the Guinness trademark to allow for more people to enjoy Guinness with a variety of occasions, while keeping true to the brand’s brewing heritage,” explains Joseph Morgan, distribution manager for the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota area. Heritage is yet another reason that Guinness is so proud of its iconic stout beer and why it hasn’t failed the company since its induction. With that in mind — and with St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching — grab a Guinness and find all the green clothing you own.
The beer that started it all. “Guinness Draught is our flagship beer, with its signature black color and distinctive creamy white head,” describes Morgan. This is an Irish dry stout that tastes roasted, creamy and has a great malt. It’s a little sweet, but not overpowering. It goes down quick and smooth. It’s bitter like a normal stout but sweet enough for the masses. It’s like the angel and the devil on your shoulder created this wonderful, bittersweet drink, just for you. ABV: 4.2 percent. Availability: Year-round
This newbie started the latest part of Guinness’ portfolio, called the Guinness Signature Series. It’s a “limited-edition ultra-premium beer which uses the same peated whisky malt you’d find in the world’s finest Scotch and Irish whiskies,” recounts Morgan. The Signature Series features beers with ingredients that are the most desired, and some of the priciest and classiest beer ingredients. The 1759 came out last fall and is currently not being brewed, but you can still find it in select locations, so get it while you can. The newest member of the Signature Series is set to debut this fall. ABV: 9 percent. Availability: Limited quantities
This permanent addition to the Guinness family is the best of both worlds. Expect a bit of deterrence from the traditional heaviness of the Guinness Draught with this beer. It’s full of bold citrus flavors with a light, fresh finish. It also marks a moment in history for Guinness because it’s the first time the company has imported the ingredients from Ireland to America. Guinness Blonde American Lager “marries Guinness and American brewing techniques for a light, crisp refreshing amber beer,” says Morgan, and it “comes with a completely different style and personality than an American lager. Variety is a great thing!” ABV: 5 percent. Availability: Year-round
In addition to the “Made of More” platform that supports and recognizes citizens who dedicate themselves to bettering their community, Guinness is supporting the hardworking firefighters by working to raise $1 million for them by St. Patrick’s Day. “To support the fundraising goal, we’ll be releasing limited-edition, firefighter-inspired T-shirts, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Leary Firefighters Foundation (LFF) to help provide the resources, equipment and training necessary to ensure the safety and success of firefighters nationwide,” explains Morgan. Visit www.guinnessgivesback.com to buy a shirt or make a donation. Find Guinness at nearby locations such as Saints Pub, Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Vista Pub, Wellman’s West, Funny Bone Comedy Club, Cowboy Jack’s, Blue Moon Dueling Pianos, Shotgun Betty’s, and other grocers and gas stations.
Feb. 26 – Stitch and Bitch, 7-9 p.m., 515 Brewing Co., 7700 University Ave., Clive, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/stitch-and-bitch/?instance_id=417
March 3 – Cooking with Beer Class for the Ladies, 5:30 p.m., $35, Bolton and Hay, 2701 Delaware Ave., https://tickly.co/events/435
March 5 – Social Run with Fitness Sports and 515 Brewing Co., 7230 University Ave., Windsor Heights, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/social-run-with-fitness-sports-and-515-brewing/?instance_id=515
March 7 – New Belgium Sampling, Wheatsfield Co-Op, 413 Northwestern Ave., Ames, www.wheatsfield.coop
March 21 – Peace Tree’s Anniversary Celebration, all day, 107 W. Main St., Knoxville, http://iowacraftbeertent.com/wordpress/event/peace-trees-5-year-anniversary-celebration/?instance_id=669
March 22 – Guinness Perfect Pour Class for the Ladies, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., $10, Mickey’s Irish Pub Waukee, 50 S.E. Laurel, Waukee, https://tickly.co/events/436
March – Beer of the Month: Empyrean Cocoa Nibbed Stout, West Towne Pub, 4518 Mortensen Road, #108, Ames, www.westtownepub.com
Guinness Draught is a traditional addition to many classic Irish dishes. For starters, try mushrooms on toast. Sear mushrooms, garlic, butter, a little salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, some Worcestershire sauce and a splash of Guinness in a saucepan until it reaches a glaze, then serve in on your favorite toasted bread. Strange? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely.
For dinner, try a classic Irish stew. Cut boned mutton into decent size chunks; chop four large potatoes, onions, carrots and parsley. Throw all of the ingredients in a pot with 500 milliliters of water and some salt and pepper, and let it boil for about three hours. When it’s done, make sure your chilled Guinness is by its side to compliment the bold flavors.
And finally, everybody loves cake, so why not add some Guinness to it? Bake your favorite kind of cake (Guinness recommends you add sultanas, raisins and walnuts) with 8-12 teaspoons of Guinness Draught, and it’s your two favorite things in one sweet, decadent dessert.
Malt refers to the treatment of grains in beer. It describes the technique of allowing the grain to sprout in a basic, conventional way right before it’s processed. It can also be used in other traditional drinks like milkshakes and root beer. The two main styles of malt beer are ale and lager. CV