Friday, August 22, 2008
While wending our way back to the hotel last night with a comrade from the WSM (more on our enjoyable meeting with these people later) one of my long standing illusions was shattered. The venerable Guinness has a history as dark as the colour of their stout. It turns out that they were basically responsible for destroying the in-house brewing that used to be characteristic of pubs here in Ireland. They enforced their monopoly by various methods. Like in the Czech Republic where a bar serves only a very limited selection of beers from one company only they put supply pressure on the pubs, saying "no Guinness if you sell from the competition". They also used some more strong arm tactics at times, if you get the drift. Not that there aren't a number of microbrewery-like places here where you can get a much wider selection, but most of the pubs have a far smaller selection of Irish beers than you might imagine. Thanks to "Pepe" for this enlightenment.