Venus Trapped in Mars

10 February 2014

Butts on Booze + A Giveaway

Yesterday I boarded a flight to Miami in preparation for the most important 10 work days of the year, the Miami International Boat Show. So while I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off this morning, I have a really big treat for you kids! One of my favorites, Alex from Ifs Ands & Butts is taking over VTIM. Alex is a Texas girl currently living in Germany. She is flipping gorgeous both inside and out and hands down my choice of blogger I would most want to grab a beer with. I would have to track her down first though. Speaking of beer, I'll let Alex take it away with a killer, super easy to understand guide to Irish Pubs, plus she's giving away an Amazon Gift Card and Ad Space!

---

I did not understand the true glory of the Irish Pub concept until moving abroad. Sure, I had been to Irish Pubs before, but I knew nothing of the culture nor the drink offerings. I'd been living in Germany for about 6 weeks, when I heard my first English-speaker on the tram. He was a young guy talking on the phone. I am not normally one to chat up the nearest person, but it was about time I made a friend in Karlsruhe. I anxious eavesdropped until I heard him end the call. The question "Hey, where are you from?" blurted out of my mouth and a quick exchange later, he offers, "I am on my way to a pub; everyone speaks English there if you want to come." It was already late and a 7 am au pair shift the next morning awaited me, but I was not going to miss out on this opportunity to make friends. This evening, I found myself conversing with Australians, Germans, and my new Indian friend, all in English, with ciders, stouts, and of course some German Jaegermeister flying about. Nearly two years later, I found myself working at a local Irish Pub in Karlsruhe. Two months after that, I booked an Irish road trip and experienced my first authentic Irish pub in Killarney, Ireland, and then many others every night for the remainder of the trip.

The Irish Pub can be an intimidating concept when you are versed in the culture, so here's a Guide to the Irish Pub Culture from someone who is zero percent Irish.

Irish Pub Guide

For starters, you should know the Irish (or Gaelic) word for Cheers: SlaĆ­nte! It, like many other words for cheers, means health, and is pronounced, "Slan-cha".

Next, come the beers.

Stout

Stout is the most well-known of all the Irish beers because of Guinness, the world's most famous stout. Stouts are dark, nearly black beers, with a creamy foam on top, that often have a slight hint of coffee taste. Although the color may be intimidating and the name might imply a strong taste, stouts are actually quite light. Shockingly enough, it is also one of the lower calorie and carbohydrate (non-light) beer options. It's also packed with phenols. The other most famous stout is Murphy's.

Ale

Ale is that reddish-brownish beer you've seen but maybe never tasted. It usually contains a fuller, more flavor-packed taste. Originally, it was brewed without hops, but now many ales contain some, but a lower content than their beer friends. Some famous Irish ale selections are Kilkenny and Smithwick's, wit Killkenny on the creamier side and Smithwick's the more traditional red ale.

Cider

Cider, my Irish Pub drink of choice, is not actually a beer, but rather just served like one. It is traditionally made from fermented apple juice, and tastes much like an adult carbonated apple juice. Ciders also come in other flavors, like the popular pear cider ("Perry Cider"). Bulmer's (branded Magner's outside of Ireland) is the cider to drink around Ireland, although many Irish Pubs also serve, Strongbow, an English cider and the most sold cider worldwide.

Pilsner

Pilsner is a light-colored lager and is the beer you are probably most familiar with, which also makes it the most boring order at an Irish Pub.

Blank & Tan

A mixture of ale and stout. A pint glass is filled to around 60% with ale, and then topped off with stout. These are also sometimes made with a lager.

Black Velvet / Tom & Jerry

Originally a mix of champagne and stout, Irish pubs serve up this treat mixing half cider and half stout. This version made with cider can be referred to as the "poor man's" black velvet.
Note: Tom & Jerry can also refer to egg nog mixed with brandy and rum, so keep this in mind.

Snake Bite / Diesel

Snake bites are a mix of lager and cider, but have become more and more popular in their "black" version, which is adding a bit of blackcurrant juice, giving it a pink color.

In addition to the beers and fun mixtures of all of them, there are some other popular Irish pub alcoholic beverages.

Irish Coffee

A warm coffee drink with a helping of whiskey, sugar, and topped off with cream.

Baby Guinness

Named for their resemblance to the famous stout, these shots are my personal favorite, Kahlua (or another coffee liqueur) topped off with Baileys. It's like having a piece of candy - candy that makes you feel really good.

Whiskeys

People write massive books on whiskeys, and I am no pro, but I can tell you that Irish whiskeys, spelled with the "e", are usually lighter and smoother, while Scotch whiskies (no "e" in whisky), usually contain that more peaty flavor. If you are looking for somewhere to get started, I really enjoy the Green Spot Irish Whiskey. It contains a light green apple flavor.


I will leave you with my favorite insult I learned in Ireland and special giveaway to Amazon (my favorite "shop" in the world) for whoever stuck with me: "Sorry lad, I wouldn't get up on you to hang wallpaper".
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you order to drink at a pub?




Now go tell Alex hey girl hey on her blogTwitter and Instagram.
TWITTER FACEBOOK Pinterest Instagram Image Map

57 comments :

  1. I'd try the black & tan I think! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good question. I'll find out when I got to the Penn State game in Dublin this August! So excited!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Unfortunately beer isn't my thing, so when I hang out at an Irish pub, it's usually Irish coffee for me. And more whiskey. I'll take alllll the whiskey.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd order a cider, I love me some Bulmers ;-) If I fancy it I'd go for a shandy instead!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Being in England has really opened my eyes up to pub culture and the drinks that come along with it, but I'm excited to go to Ireland next month (and the Guinness factory ahh!!!) to get an authentic Irish pub experience!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a cider fan for sure. Would love to go to Ireland and have a drink in a real Irish pub.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The weekend I was in Ireland, I'm pretty sure I lived off of snakebites. By far my favorite!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Baby Guinness is adorable, that's a fun idea. So is the snake bite, I want that!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am always torn between whiskey and Guinness! (I just cannot drink Guinness with meals, so bars are my only hope...) I have actually toured both the Jameson Whiskey and Guinness factories in Dublin. But now I think I will have to try the Baby Guinness shot - which appears to be equal parts adorable and awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would order Guinness and then make a weird face. HI ALEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hmm I would say something in the Whiskey family would be a great place to start lol

    ReplyDelete
  12. Recently, at an Irish Pub in Raleigh, we had some kind of cocktail with a cider. I swear it was called a Flying Irishman. I'll always opt for a Smithwick's though!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Definitely a Guinness and a corn beef sandwich! Great post, so funny!

    - Alex @ Radiating Sunshine
    alexmhons.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. being Irish I've always wanted to go to Ireland and drink a Guinness, and one day I will. but then I'd have some Ciders, and definitely want to try a Baby Guinness. love this post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beer is not my thing so I definitely order a Cider!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

    ReplyDelete
  16. I want all of this in my face....ALL OF IT!!!! Great guide for non-pub goers

    ReplyDelete
  17. You had me at butts and booze.... And I'm all about a good Pilsner, but if its a rather cold day and we are just hanging in the pub to keep warm...I can always go for an Irish Coffee :) (we call it Happy Coffee in our house)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I live in Germany so when I got to the pub here it get a Hefeweizen or a banana Hefeweizen

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would probably order an ale. Though I've never heard of those mixtures and those sound great!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can only drink light beer!! They probably wouldn't even have it! Boring I know but those heavy beers are just too bitter for me. I always taste my husband's even though I know I won't like it and frown up my face-but I'm trying!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm all about the ciders and whiskey of course! This was a great post to take over with . I will be checking out your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. There are very few alcoholic drinks that I don't like, although obviously I like some more than others. When I don't get a mixed drink I go with a stout, usually.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I LOVE Black Velvet- drink them all the time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sorry Sarah, but this might the best post ever. Maybe thats just because I'm Irish (see <-) and I'm wondering why I havent thought of a post like this yet. I went to about a million pubs when i was in Ireland and frquent them here at home. I'm a big time Smithwicks fan, so thats usually my beverage of choice.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gotta have the Irish coffee AND the baby Guinness!

    ReplyDelete
  26. My favorite drink of choice at a pub is Cider! I love all the different flavors! Also, another favorite of mine is St Louis Framboise, it is a lambic with raspberry juice. Just amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd probably taste whatever beer my boyfriend orders, make a face, and then carry on drinking my cider. :P

    ReplyDelete
  28. I do enjoy a good craft beer, but Guiness isn't my favorite. I know I can't go wrong with Bass or Sierra Nevada, and I'll occasionally try one of my husband's new variety of the week. For the most part I just stick to wine because it's lighter and I don't do any light beers because they taste like crap!
    Eva Marie

    ReplyDelete
  29. How fun! I am a big beer lover and bar tended too, I'd often like to make up variations of the black and tanm like Guinness/any kind of Pumpkin beer, Guinness/Raspberry wheat, and Guiness/ Sam Adams cherry is a good one too. Sooo tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have never been to an irish pub before...however, I do enjoy my spirits so I guess I would try what the bar tender suggested.

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have not been to a pub in years and I don't drink beer ever.................yuck

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like my pilsners and my lagers but the baby guiness is fast becoming an option

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love Irish Pubs!! They are always SO fun...had the best time at the irish pub in Iceland...it was like we were back in Ireland!

    I can have one cider, then it's too sweet. Pretty much always order ale I think because I think I'm ordering pilsner. In any event, I'm a fan of smithwicks and proud of myself that I know how to pronounce it properly!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm not sure what I would order, I don't like beer!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Aaahh.. Baby Guinness! I am glad we had that at our Kolleg Am Ring party. All credit goes to Geoffroy and Spencer..

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cider for sure. Though I might have to be blasphemous because my favorite ciders are Swedish!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Good question! If I were in Germany, I would order a "Koelsch" SUCH a good beer. But I guess I'm order a light beer, or maybe something girly like a Shirley temple!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Guinness or Jameson or Bulmers Cider, they are all very good and I always get to celebrate because: 1, my eldest son Brennan was born on St. Patrick's Day and my husbands family is Irish. Can I be any luckier?! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  39. Any cider, for sure. Love my cider.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I don't like beer (I know!!), but I do love me some Irish Coffee. Or a good cider. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I know I'm weird, but I LOVE a good root beer!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I get Murphy's Stout.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

Comments make my heart go boom boom.

I respond to all comments, if you are leaving me comments and not getting a reply, you may be a no-reply blogger. Fix it HERE!