St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. It’s a date that, despite my decidedly un-Irish heritage, I’ve come to give the same deference as February 14th, July 4th and October 31st; the second tier holidays falling right behind Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Partly I blame Mom for making every holiday a big to-do and partly my choice of college at the tender age of 17. Whatever the reason, it’s a day to celebrate, indulge a bit, and move with the confidence of one under the spell of Felix Felicis, because on March 17th, everyone’s a little bit Irish.
And so for today, a story, to throw back to the times before when ya’ll got a history lesson as well as a recipe because remember, learning is fun. And learning about beer is really fun!
Once upon a time, there was a man. That man had a dream, and £100, and set out to revolutionize the beer industry. His name was Arthur Guinness, and this is his story.
Armed with a meager inheritance, Arthur Guinness arrived in Dublin to brew ale. He figured he’d try his luck by signing a 9,000 (yes, nine THOUSAND) year lease for a dilapidated brewery at St. James’ Gate in the city. Noting the trend of darker beer, better known as porters, coming over from London, forty years after signing the lease, he decided to go all out, ditch the ale business and do his best to perfect the perfect porter. Guinness’ first, the West India Porter, arrived in the world in 1801. The tinkering continued through generations, continued by his son, Arthur Guinness II, and then his grandson, Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness. I think we can all agree, they got it right.
By 1858, the Guinness porter was popular throughout the world, and had been exported to areas as far as New Zealand, at a time when other Dublin brews failed to even leave the country. This pioneering spirit is one of the reasons that the Guinness brewhouse continued to expand, soon to become a “city within a city,” boasting its own medical facilities, experimental brewhouse and railways. Also, Guinness was the first brewery to hire scientists and chemists, Oxford trained no less, to science up the whole operation and ensure perfection. Guinness continued to grow in popularity, particularly with the advent of its famous, velvety-smooth draught in 1959, and in 1963, the company expanded its brewing operations to Nigeria, and later Malaysia.
Never a company to rest on its laurels, Guinness continues to expand, experiment and innovate, coming out with a Guinness blonde, and its new Nitro IPA just last year. Nevertheless, each brew is tirelessly brewed to perfection and the high standard we’ve all come to expect from the Guinness name using the same breakthrough methods, wort, water, barley and yeast, handed down from past generations, and nitrogen, giving each pour its signature creamy white head.
And while the brewmasters at Guinness continue to innovate, so have we, the at home mixologists, creating crafty cocktails and delicious treats for any occasions (for example, the black velvet= Guinness + champagne),
I’m going to throw my own hat into the mix with my Guinness Irish Cream Ice Cream Float. Inspired by all the beer floats I encountered on TemecuLaw, I took the flavors from a creamy and delicious car bomb and turned it into an adult ice cream delicacy: no-churn Bailey’s ice cream* with a salted whisky caramel swirl and a can of the traditional brew.
Don’t worry, no curdles on this one. It won’t be around long enough.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor
- 1/2 cup store-bought salted caramel + 2 TB Irish Whiskey (such as Jameson), mixed well
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks. Gently fold in the condensed milk and Baileys until all is well mixed.
- Transfer the ice cream into a container, layering about 1/3 of the ice cream, 1/3 of the caramel, repeating until all is used up. Press plastic wrap on the top of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn. Freeze until firm enough to scoop, at least four hours.
- 2 scoops Bailey’s whiskey caramel ice cream
- 1 14-ounce can Guinness, cold
- Place two scoops of ice cream into a tall pint glass, Slowly pour the Guinness over the ice cream, and give it a good stir to combine. Enjoy!
Written after Taco Monday.