Cheers! My name is Sam MacDonald and I am studying in Dublin, Ireland this semester. I am a senior at the Mount, and I am studying Business with a concentration in Finance. I decided to study abroad this semester to push myself out of my comfort zone by diving into a new culture and experiencing a new way of life.
Through this blog, I plan to shine a light on the Irish pub culture. During these upcoming weeks, I will visit new pubs and get a sense of the history behind the pub. Also, I plan on observing the differences in drinking in an Irish pub versus drinking in an American bar. The reason I have decided on this theme is because I am taking a History of Beer and Brewing course while in Dublin, and I believe it will be fun to incorporate what I learn in the class and tie it into the pub scene.
We have been in Dublin for just about two weeks now, and I have noticed that it is almost impossible to go down a street and not see a sign for one of Ireland’s most favorite drinks: Guinness. Before arriving in Dublin, I never had a Guinness before. On the night of our arrival, a friend and I ordered a pint from the oldest pub in Ireland, The Brazen Head (built in 1198). The bartender filled the pint about 85% full and then walked away. We just assumed that was part of the culture here and went to grab the pints. Before the glass reached our lips, the bartender shouted for us to stop! In a friendly way, he explained that a Guinness needs time to settle because it is brewed with Nitrogen. Once settled, the pint is ready to be enjoyed! Since that night, I have been sure to wait until the entire pouring process is complete. Below are some photos of my time in The Brazen Head:
Please join me on my journey through Dublin’s pubs as I gain insight into one of Ireland’s favorite traditions of sitting down and enjoying a pint with some of your lads. I will be posting every Tuesday! I will also be posting to the Mount’s Travel Instagram, @msmutravels. Follow the hashtag #BrewsdayTuesday to stay up-to-date on my journeys. Sláinte!