Memorable Beers #14 — Guinness With Nick

By Bailey.

The only reason I started drinking was because of peer pressure from my mate Nick. I stayed at university for an extra year to do a masters and he had another year of his engineering degree to go and. Early on, the full horror dawned on him: “I can’t believe I’m stuck in this miserable city with only a teetotaller for company.”

I started drinking to keep him company and soon learned that Nick had a set of rules about pubs and beer:

1. Pubs should be dark brown up to waist height and nicotine brown above.

2. Red Stripe is the go-to beer for most situations, but especially nightclubs and picnics.

3. Beck’s tastes of blood.

4. Stella gives you headaches because it is “dirty”.

5. No-one likes Guinness, but you have to drink it on Sunday lunchtime — “It’s a rule.”

Having only been drinking for about two months, I remember vividly being bullied into getting a pint of Guinness and taking two hours to drink it. It only got worse as, sitting next to a roaring fire, it got warmer and warmer. I’d never tasted anything so bitter or so vile.

I was not reassured by Nick’s Sixth Law:

6. Guinness makes you shit treacle.

These days, of course, Nick is himself teetotal, and I’ve got way more rules about beer and pubs than he ever did.

9 thoughts on “Memorable Beers #14 — Guinness With Nick”

  1. Rule 3 is somewhat worrying (Becks – The beer Dracula would go for). And rule 6 is (a) worrying and (b) You just don’t want to know how it was discovered or true. But It’s nice to start somewhere with some sort of form guide from those in the know.

  2. Lovin law number six :)

    I remember a similar experience to your fireside Guinness torture many years ago. I can’t remember if it was Owd Roger,Old Tom (or something similar) but I know some one presented it to me, first pint Sunday dinner on New Years day.
    I think I managed about a third in two hours or more before giving up & going home to bed…

  3. Rule 1 is my favourite, though we call it ‘nicotine yellow’. It is, indeed, the only colour for pub ceilings.

  4. He wasn’t entirely wrong about the Red Stripe. My routine whenever I went to gigs used to be to start with a Red Stripe & move on to a Special Brew; that way I’d be drunk enough to last the night if I couldn’t – or didn’t want to – fight my way back to the bar later on.

    Guinness, though – well, Guinness as a session beer – baffles me. I’ve been drinking beer since Harold Wilson was in power*, and I still don’t understand how people can get drunk on stout. I’ve done it twice and felt thoroughly ill both times. The second time, I remember my morning pee was a rather alarming peach colour, almost red. (Or had I just eaten some beetroot that night & not noticed?)

    *Just. Yes, I do feel old.

    1. Rubbish Guinness is perfect session material. The weight is just nitro, evaporates like candifloss. Some of the biggest nights of my life have been Guinness and Irish whiskey, double fisted. Clear as a bell the next morning. :-)

  5. Ian — inspection pans?

    The Original Phil, aka Filrd — suspect Guinness was as extreme as I could have handled early on — took me a while before I could tolerate any kind of alcohol content at all. I remember drinking Chimay White in Belgium and thinking it was just like frothy meths. *shudder*

    Ed — it’s marketed under the name “Jaundiced Dusk”; the brown for the lower walls is “Quiet Umber”.

    Other Phil — now you mention it, I don’t think I’ve ever done a whole session on stout. I tend only to drink Guinness in pubs with no decent beer, so rarely stick around for more than one or two.

  6. I’ve had some monster sessions on Guinness in my yoof and believe me I paid for it the next day. More bitumen than treacle.

    Jaundiced Dusk sounds like some Norwegian death metal band!

  7. Insides of steel, I drank Guiness back when I was 18 and would get though five or so in a night with no ill effects. :)

    Don’t think I would risk that now though even if I was to drink that stuff again.

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