Those of you who kept in touch with our blog since the beginning may recall our whiskey tasting accounts with the “House of Walker Experience” and “Raise the Macallan” last year. This week, I had the wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast whiskey tastings with beer tastings after I got invited to attend “Guinness Believer.”
You may ask yourself, “A Guinness tasting? There are more than one kind of Guinness?” There are actually more than a dozen variations as I learned from the speaker throughout the night. He also informed us that Guinness has less calories than most beer and that the logo for Guinness is a mirror image of the logo for the Trinity College harp in Ireland as a patriotic homage. In addition, he taught us how to pour Guinness draft into glasses properly. He invited two tasters to the stage to do the task in a friendly competition where the winner received a free Guinness t-shirt. Furthermore, everyone received a small booklet containing food recipes that complement each particular Guinness, which you can use to impress house guests and increase their awareness of Guinness.
Speaking of awareness, “Guinness Believer” also advocated social media like the “House of Walker Experience” and “Raise the Macallan.” Attendees could take photos in front of the St. James’s Gate Brewery backdrop and share via e-mail or Facebook. People were also encouraged to take photos of the event and upload them to Instagram with the hash tag #GuinnessBeliever for a chance to win a Guinness t-shirt.
During the event, we tasted three different kinds of Guinness. Initially I was given a regular glass of Guinness Draught. Afterwards, I tried the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which tasted stronger than the Draught but was also more crisp and refreshing. According to the speaker, the Foreign Extra Stout tasted like roasted barley. Finally I drank a sample of the Guinness Black Lager, which tasted lighter than the Guinness Draught in my opinion. As a pleasant surprise, we were able to keep the Guinness BLack Lager glass as a souvenir. Drinks were also not the only thing on the menu that night.
We did not go home with empty stomachs thanks to the amazing free catering “Guinness Believer” provided. cumin spice granola bits were mixed into sweet caramel popcorn to give an extra kick to our palate. The chocolate brownie bars were crunchy and nutty. The shortbread had the perfect hint of lime without being sour. Other snacks offered included chips with guacamole dip, pecan bars, and onion bread rolls. While I enjoyed the food, my opinion of the locale is mixed.
Unlike the tastings I’ve attended in the past, “Guinness Believer” was not held in Downtown Los Angeles. Instead it was held in the heart of Culver City’s art district in the BookBindery and Brick Buildings. As you can imagine from the name of the venue, brick walls were prominent, allowing a more historic, traditional appearance in contrast to modern buildings with dull cement walls. There were two bars inside with several bartenders serving beer quickly to attendees. However due to limited seating and lack of tables, most people were required to stand for the tasting. In order to receive different samples, you had to raise your hand high, hoping the servers would come and hand you one in good faith. If you were a slow drinker, you would eventually find it difficult to hold onto all your glasses without a table as more samples came your way.
Despite the inconvenience that resulted from limited seating, “Guinness Believer” was a good event to increase one’s awareness of the different variations of Guinness. I was required to pay $5, but it’s worth it for the tasting, food, and free Guinness glass. Furthermore, all of the money went to donations to firefighters. For information on future tastings, be sure to check out the “Guinness Believer” website! You can view more photos of the event on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA for all the latest news!
So what is your favorite type of Guinness?
Until next time,