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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Go for a Pint?

Go for a pint? Grab a beer? When I lived in Ireland, me mates would say, "Do you want to meet for a pint?" Back home in the US, my friends say, "Let's grab a beer." A friend of mine from South Africa asked the question, "How about going out for a few ales?" This last one always confused me a bit, because he would always order a lager. After a few outings, I finally told him that if he wants to go out for a few ales, he has to at least drink one. He explained to me that where he was from, ale meant beer in general, not style. Needless to say, I forced a pint of bitter on him before he switched to his, dare I say it....Danish Lager. How about the Aussies? The ones that I knew, called a beer a beer. Just like us Yanks. When I eventually ended my stay in Europe, I tried to bring the vernacular to my old stomping grounds. I tried saying, "Lets go for a pint." Since most of my friends are big Guinness fans, I even tried, "Let's grab a few stouts." Niether one seemed to flow as well as, "Do you want to grab a beer?"

The other big difference I noticed concerning drinking terminology was how we address our local drinking establishments. In England and Ireland, they refer to their watering hole as the "Pub" or as their "Local." As in, "I spent the afternoon at my local." Or, as in, "We went to the Pub." The Irish and English never really used the proper name of the pub. They talked about it as if you knew exactly which one of a hundred pubs they were referring to. And as far as they were concerned, amongst themselves, they knew exactly which pub they were referring to. Overhere, it is a different ball game. We tend to use the proper name of the bar that we frequent. If it is a one word name, like Gregory's, we'll use the whole name. If it is a long name or two words, we'll chop it up or give it a nick name. For instance, Skelly's High Point Pub, would be "The High Point". The Rod and Reel Tavern would be "The Rod" and The Greater Pittsburgh Irish Pub would be "The Pitt." So rather than say, "Do you want to stop at the pub for a pint tonight?", we would say, "Let's stop at the Pitt for a few beers."

The good news is that no matter what language or terminology is used, one way or the other you will end up sitting at a bar with some style of glassware filled with a liquid made from malted barley and hops.

The Beers

I was out and about recently and managed to have a few of my favorite "Popular" Beers.

Stella Artois: The Star from Belgium, this lager is brewed with Cech hops, giving it an incredible crisps clean taste. As far as imported lagers from big breweries go, this is my favorite. If you see it on tap, give it a try.

Yuengling Lager: A well balanced lager from the oldest brewery in the United States. I actually love this beer. It is my go to choice when I am chowing down on hot Buffalo Wings at my Local's ( The Rod ), wing night. Smooth and rough at the same time.

Murphy's Stout: After drinking so much Guinness, it is nice to find the occasional pint of Murphy's on tap. What I like about Murphys as opposed to the same creamy, smoothness of Guinness is the slight burnt roasty taste. A nice change of pace.

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