Americans have some funny ideas about how to serve Guinness

Adam Boult
A pint of Guinness - the normal way - Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

St Patrick's Day is nearly upon us, and all the world over Irish people, quasi-Irish people and not-even-slightly-Irish people will be marking the day with a pint or two of the black stuff.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Guinness's owner Diageo focuses a lot of its marketing efforts around March 17th - and in 2015 it aimed to rack up sales of 7.5 million pints in one day.

While most Guinness-drinkers around the British Isles will take theirs unadulterated, across the Atlantic people do things a little differently - as noticed by Dublin-native Sean Earley, who spotted this sign at South By South West in Austin, Texas this week:

Americans are being encouraged to mix their Guinness with "local beers" in what they're calling a "half-and-half" - and correct pouring apparently requires a spoon to be used.

They've been doing this for years, it seems - usually with Harp lager, for an Irish-themed drink that was widely known as a "black and tan," until some actual Irish people pointed out that that name was likely to cause offense (see also:  Nike apologises for 'Black and Tan' trainers - 2012. Ben & Jerry's under fire for 'Black and Tan' ice cream - 2006).

Guinness is now encouraging US consumers to try the half-and-half approach with various other beers, and has even released an online recipe book with a number of suggested beer combinations.

Credit: Guinness

The book explains why Guinness is particularly suited to being floated on top of other beers: "Guinness is made with nitrogen (75% nitrogen) which makes Guinness less dense than most carbonated beers. This difference in density allows the beers to layer on top of other beers.

"If poured gently with a spoon or flat surfaced bar tool, the Guinness should float on top while your other beer is on the bottom."


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