We were lucky enough to speak to Guinness brewmaster Fergal Murray last month, while he was in the states to promote a few new products (Guinness Black Lager), to work toward getting their own Guinness Book of World Records award for coordinating the world’s biggest celebration (St. Patrick’s Day, duh), and, while in Washington DC, to “pour a few pints for senators.” Guy’s got it rough, I know. We asked about the challenges and responsibilities of maintaining the consistently excellent flavor and feel of Guinness. “That’s the job,” says Murray, and although they might update and improve some processes and techniques, they don’t mess much with the key ingredients, which include roasted barley, extra hops and Guinness’s own yeast. With such effort going into quality control, I asked Murray what he thought about bartenders who get creative and use Guinness in new cocktail combos. While Murray acknowledged that it was “just a bit of fun” that tends to happen around St. Patty’s Day. He did admit scratching his head at the thought or new concoctions made with his stout. “I do cringe,” he says. ““Why change something that’s perfect in every way?” Totally good question.
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