Friday, September 28, 2012

A Drop of the English Stuff

Methinks the Sun's reporter on the celebration of "Arthur's Day" in Ireland has had a drop too much of what she writes about.  She reports that Arthur Guinness's "ancestor Desmond Guinness and wife Penny unveiled a new Arthur Guinness Square in Leixlip".  Unless Desmond and his wife are about 300 years old, I think that should be "descendant"!

The irony in all this celebration of Ireland's most famous export is that Guinness is no longer Irish.  For some years now it's been owned by London-based multinational conglomerate Diageo, which also owns many other famous drink brands.  From the Wikipedia description, it sounds as predatory and unlovable as any other giant conglomerate.  Here in Hong Kong, it quietly reduced the strength of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout - the version of the drink long established in the territory - from 7.5% to 5% some years back without cutting the price to match.  Not very extra, is it?  Meanies!  Incidentally most of the Guinness sold here comes from the company's brewery in Malaysia - only 6,700 odd miles from Ireland.

However, with Ireland's other two big breweries - Beamish and Murphy's - also in the hands of a foreign multinational, Heineken, the small Porterhouse chain is now free to advertise itself as "Ireland's largest Irish-owned brewery".  And good luck to them - their beers are better.  The picture above was taken in their London pub in Covent Garden last month.

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