Monday, April 14, 2008

Farmer beer chic


Well it seems I've finally done it.

After almost a decade ploughing my lonely furrow for Smithwicks, the downtrodden ruddy ale has finally caught on again. Smithwicks chic is here. It's rustic, it's red, it's retro, it's alot of rice things beginning with R and best of all it's tastes rabsolutely rovely. Sure everybody's drinking it now.

Well, maybe not everybody per se, but at least four people I know are now converted, which is a mammoth increase from the previous opinion poll figure of one, the one in question being myself. That's about a three millions percentage points surge by Shire reckoning and you can laugh at the Hobbits all you like but the little bastards could certainly put away a few pints.

It all started when Radge texted me recently to say he'd been drinking, which is not of itself unusual of course, except that this time he had been drinking Smithwicks. With the Guinness head on it to boot. He'd taken a notion and chanced a few. He liked it. It warranted texting me he felt. He was right. He enjoyed the typical Smithwicks hangover the following day, which is to say, he didn't have one. Emboldened, he tried a few the next night he was out. It's now going so well, he's becoming quite the regular.

In itself, this was quite the landmark development. I no longer felt like the parochial pub pariah, frowned upon by trendy types. Aglow with some sort of quasi-parental admiration, I texted him back with a tear in my eye and told him I was never so proud of him.

It's sort of snowballed from there. I was in sunny Cavan for the weekend, and ambled in to the local with the youngest McDanger, ordered my usual and was bemused when two foamy pints of the red diesel nectar were placed before me. I wondered was it a bad keg the barman was trying to get rid of, or had he made a mistake with the order. Nope, says he, it's for McDanger the younger.

"Ah yeah," says the brother, "You're always going on about it, I might as well try a few and see."

"Jasus," gasped I, and then sat there looking at him silently, wondering would I give him a hug or something. I'd claimed two souls for Smithwicks inside a week, this was just a little bit tremendous.
He farted then and spoiled the moment, so I didn't embrace him. Or his musk either.

Anyway, we drank up and went off to a 'function' as we call it down our way. It's a rather robotic description for a party or benefit/fundraiser type thing where a large crowd convenes and gets drunk, eats 10% meat (at least, guaranteed by law) cocktail sausages all night and then has a raffle. Anyway, that's not what's important here. The salient information is this: In I goes to the bar and finds sister McDanger's husband at the bar. Flushed with goodwill towards all drinkers, I asked him what was he having and fervently hoped it wasn't a double of anything costly.

He pursed his lips and rubbed his belly as he surveyed the taps and optics before him and went through his options. He usually goes for pints of Heineken, godamn intestinal masochist that he is, but by dint of his extended musing, he was obviously considering a change.

"Ach sure...go on there and get me a Smithwicks."

What? Another one? Two in the one night? I got a bit of a shock and felt somewhat faint. If there hadn't been a buxom lady nearby who helpfully allowed me rest a moment in her cleavage, I might well have keeled over.

"Smith...wicks...are you sure?"

"Yeah what the hell. Apart from the obvious, it doesn't seem to do you any harm."

I ordered quickly before he could change his mind and watched carefully as he raised it to his gob. Yep, he was definitely swallowing it alright. Lordy but this was turning into the perfect evening altogether.
For the rest of the night, both converts sought my advice on matters Smith and Wick and I gathered them closely to me to explain at length the science of the Guinness head, and the almost hangoverless future they could look forward to. Although I was upfront enough to warn them that Oriental barmen in Dublin tend to get perplexed and make a total hames of putting the Guinness in. They were undeterred though and were last seen quaffing and belching away like pigs at a trough well into the early hours, holding their glasses to the light and swapping opinions on this strange new libation.
I went to bed utterly pissed, and happy.

There's no telling where all this might lead. Like all fashions, they eventually come back around again and now I feel the time for Smithwicks second coming is nigh. It'll be all the rage inside 12 months, just watch. All the bars and clubs will be doing promotions and bikini-clad hotties called the "Smithchicks" will be touring the country giving out free teeshirts and bearing with stoic dignity the clumsy efforts of the clientele to subtly feel their arses. It'll probably go all the way to the Playboy mansion where a twinkle-eyed Hugh Heffernan will cast aside his Viagric ways and claim Smithwicks as the drink that made a real man of him, before devouring Miss January beside him in a whirr of entangled limbs.

I have a dream.

20 moos and woofs:

nuttycow said...

I don't know what Smithwicks is but rest assured, when I'm next over in the emerald Isle, I too will make sure I quaff a shed load.

Terence McDanger said...

Fair play to you. You'll fart a concerto but you'll like it.

Rosie said...

a fair few of my mates drink it, i don't think they were aware that they were behaving like social lepers.

i think it's awful manky piss though.

Baino said...

Did you say it's a red beer and you add guinness to give it a head? Or does it just have a frothy top like guinness? And it doesn't give you a hangover? Good God McDanger sounds like gut-rot, no wonder it makes you pass wind!

English Mum said...

What she said. It's red beer to which you add Guinness?

I'm confuzzed.

Thriftcriminal said...

I always liked Kilkenny (I'm sure someone will scoff and spit at that claim), but it went by the wayside. I have been know to have a pint of Smithwicks from time to time, but never tried the addition of the guinness head.

Terence McDanger said...

It has a frothy head alright, the addition of a few drops of Guinness (gently does it or you'll have a beer volcano all over your pants which sounds inherently sexual but isn't, and more's the pity says you) gives it more froth and a creamier consistency. The head lasts right to the bottom of the glass.

Real connoisseurs go for what is referred to as a Black and Tan, which is a half pint of Smithwicks and a half pint of Guinness. In one glass obviously, it'd be pretty shit otherwise. Fucking beautiful but most barmen will arch an eyebrow and say something like "Ask me bollix will ya" when you request it, it's something of a difficult one to pull and takes aaaaaaaaages.

Don't knock it till ye've tried it!

Kath Lockett said...

Ah, this story brings a tear of happiness to my eye, Mr McD. It's so nice when good things eventuate.

Terence McDanger said...

Yes all I need now is someone from Smithwicks to get in touch with a year's supply of the stuff, and then my work will be complete.

Paul Heron said...

Well that was certainly one of your more inspirational posts.
Sure I'll have to give it a try meself this weekend ;-)

Rosie said...

you're awful easy swayed, Paul. you'll be giving the 6.5 inch rabbit a go next.

Paul Heron said...

ouch, i think i'll give the rabbit a miss rosie !!!

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