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Jet Black: Flying to Dublin, Guinness Class

October 14, 2012 8 comments

Guinness has worked very hard over the decades to associate itself intimately with a romantic notion of the Irish drinking culture and their most recent campaign is an especially literal reflection of that.  Every Friday and Saturday night over a 9 week period, Guinness reps will go into pubs in British cities between 6pm and 8pm, giving those drinking Guinness a chance to win a private jet flight to Dublin for the night, departing right there and then.

Through entering a competition on Peer Index, a social networking marketing site, Kate and I won the same prize along with two other couples, from London and Glasgow (none of whom were beer bloggers/tweeters).  We were given tickets to Birmingham Airport, checked into an airport hotel and at 8.15pm flew on a Cessna Citation to Dublin.

We had a fantastic night: the trip in the jet was fast, comfortable and relaxed.  We were taken to O’Donoghue’s for Guinness and music, The Elephant and Castle for dinner (including some incredible chicken wings), the Oliver St. John Gogarty for more beer and music, the Temple Bar and finally the Mercantile Hotel.  We also met up with that evening’s pub competition winners, who had been picked up from Luton and flown out after us.

We were then flown back to Birmingham at two in the morning, with more Guinness (and Guinness chocolate and Guinness nuts) on the plane.  We’d had a great, and slightly surreal time, joining in with the many tourists (particularly German football fans and English Rugby Union fans) enjoying a night out in Temple Bar.  I obviously know that there’s much more to Dublin than Temple Bar (see here) and much more to Irish beer than Guinness (see here) , but it was a really special evening.

As a point of order, I am aware that I wouldn’t have had the chance to win this trip if I hadn’t been regarded an “influencer” by PeerIndex. It’s probably the most impressive “freebie” I’ve ever heard of, and all of us know that word of mouth marketing, such as this post, is the intended result.  But I can tell you that we had a lot of fun and met some nice people.  Even as a BrewDog shareholder, I wasn’t about to turn down such an opportunity, especially given the amount of money I’ve spent on Guinness over the years.

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Guinness Gives You Wood

I tend to get a reasonable amount of site traffic every time I mention Guinness, but I was surprised to see that someone found my blog the other day with the search terms, “Does the beer Guinness give you a hard erection?

 The simple answer to the question is of course, “Woah there, settle down fella!  We all like our beer but that’s taking it a bit too far.”

It’s a fairly interesting point though, as myths about the miraculous qualities of Guinness persist despite all evidence to the contrary.  It seems that some pregnant women still take to drinking Guinness (and some mid-wives even continue to recommend it) as it’s supposedly high in iron.  In fact it only contains 1.1mg of iron per pint, so even a non-pregnant woman would need to drink 14 pints to get her RDA of iron, which would also give her 2,786 calories.  No need to eat at all, eh?

Guinness is a pretty filling beer but not unusually high in calories… for beer.  In fact if you go to the Guinness website you can find the table below, which in an attempt to refute this perception puts it at 199 calories a pint, which is at least considerably less than Stella at 245 calories a pint.  But then Stella has a higher ABV and if you’re counting calories when you drink beer, you may as well give up and go on to the gin and slimline tonics, because you’ll be depressed anyway.

Apparently Guinness is regarded as an aphrodisiac in some parts of Africa, the Far East and the Carribean, sometimes with a raw egg in it.  However one site that suggests stout with raw eggs as a way that a “50 year old man can make love like a 20 year old” also suggests that the unfortunate gentleman tape a magnet to his “sacred chakra”.  It goes on:

“If you place the magnet overnight, you may get a morning erection the following day. This shows that blood circulation has indeed occurred in your body.”
 
The fact that you wake up the next day at all shows that “blood circulation has indeed occurred”.  If you have no circulation, a lacklustre morning glory is probably the least of your worries.  On the bright side, there’s always rigor mortis to look forward to.
 
 
Beer with a raw egg in it is a traditional hangover cure or setup for a hard day, as viewers of season 2 of The Wire will be aware.  Eggs, like oysters, are high in zinc which helps produce testosterone, so it’s not a bad call.  Perhaps the deflated search engine user might want to try Guinness and oysters to help him keep up appearances.
 
Alternatively, he could always try the BrewDog beer brewed with “herbal viagra”, whatever that is.  However I reckon he’d be better off getting out the fridge magnets and the masking tape.
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