View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: March 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Guinness North Star

I was really surprised during my recent trip to Dublin to see that Guinness has expanded into a line of limited-edition stouts. Apparently this started a few years ago. Each Guinness spin-off appears on tap for six months, then vanishes.
I was told that this is the brewery's attempt to revive interest in their product at home. Ireland is a very young nation, and many of the current generation of pub-goers eschews Guinness out of concern for their waistline.

The first of their "Brewhouse Series", as it's called, debuted in 2005. It was called "Brew 39" and supposedly it was a little thinner than regular Guinness draght and had more hops.

The second entry was called "Toucan Brew", named after the longtime Guinness mascot. It appeared during the Summer of 2006, and proved to be a bit of a cult success. Apparently Guinness received quite a few emails protesting its disappearance that Fall.

The current offering in the Brewhouse Series is called "North Star". It's smoother and slightly sweeter than regular Guinness, but not so much as it's readily apparent. It's very subtle. It's served colder than regular Guinness as well. I really liked Guinness North Star. I think it would be a great addition to their permanent line-up.

And by the way... what you've heard is true. It tastes so much better over there that it's almost a completely different product.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Jimmy and Harold at The Bell

Monday, March 05, 2007


Dublin Trip Report

Dublin Trip Report - this is a little obsessive, but I tried to reconstruct the weekend step-by-step. I'll elaborate and add to it as time passes, I think

3pm – Left Boston

5am – arrived Dublin Airport

530am – arrived downtown Dublin
6am – dropped bags at Earl of Kildare Hotel

6:30 – coffee in Hotel bar
7:30 – walked Grafton Street, coffee at Bewley’s, photo at Davey Byrne’s
9:30am – coffee at a shop on the corner of Clarendon street and Coppinger Row.
10:30am – meet Ciaran Bass outside Brown Thomas
11am – Internet Café, window shopping, Steeven’s Green shopping center
Noon – check in at hotel
1:30pm: Beer at The Palace
2:30pm – Beshoff’s fish and chips
3:30pm – shopping
6pm – Long Stone Pub
7pm – back to Hotel
7:30 – Go to Suffolk Street, beer at O’Neill’s
8:30 - Meet Costellos outside O’Donoghue’s
9pm – Ha’penny Bridge Inn
Midnight – pizza
1am – Harry B’s
3am – bed

9am – wakeup
9:30 – call Costellos
10am – wander Merrion Sq looking for breakfast
11am - Internet Café
Noon – lunch at O’Neill’s
1pm – Bus Tour
3pm – Bachelor Inn
3:30 - shopping on Henry Street, Arnott’s
530pm – Stop at The Oval, buy sweatshirts, buy books, get whiskey
6:30 - stop at Kehoe's Lounge
7pm – back to Hotel, change
7:30 – Meet Tony outside Mongolian BBQ
8pm – Beer at Brogan’s
8:30 – dinner at Mongolian BBQ

11pm – Beers at Mulligans, Poolbeg Street

1am – Harry B’s
3am – bed

8:30am – wakeup call
9:30 am – breakfast at Hotel
10:30am – cab to airport
Noon – leave for London
1pm – land at Heathrow
1:30 – get on subway, arrive at “The Bell”, Hounslow
3:30 – leave “The Bell”, get back on subway
7pm – leave London


Five Unusual Things About Dublin

1. Long lines at ATMs. Either there aren't enough cash machines in the city, or way too many people rely on them. Sometimes I'd see 15 or 20 people lining up to use the ATM.

2. Bus Mirrors - All the coach buses in Ireland have these gigantic molded side-view mirrors that hang out in front of the bus in big sculpted curves.

3. No dogs - Really strange. I saw two dogs the whole weekend. You'd think a city like this, with lots of young people and lots of park space, would be a big dog town. Not so, apparently.

4. Guinness is losing popularity - hard to believe, but apparently all those young people that inhabit the city think Guinness is worse on the waistline than other beers. To combat its slowly shrinking sales, Guinness has introduced several limited-edition stouts. I tried the "North Star" stout several times. Highly recommended. It's definitely Guinness, but at the same time it's also different. Also surprising - Budweiser doesn't seem to be as popular as it was 15 years ago. I saw a lot fewer taps offering it.

5. Turf fires have vanished - the last time I was in Dublin in wintertime (many years ago) the air was filled with the unforgettable smell of burning peat. That's all gone. I have heard that Ireland's peat is quickly disappearing and, combined with Dublin's modernization, the change shouldn't be so surprising, I guess. And the buildings are a lot cleaner. But it's kind of sad to see it gone.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Some Photos from Dublin


Back from Dublin

So... you *CAN* do Dublin in one weekend. You can stay up 46 hours straight and then go pub crawling at 9 different pubs.

As long as you have this:

It's Europe's version of 'Red Bull' and made the trip possible.

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