Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. ~Benjamin Franklin
Ahh yes, today is another Guinness toast! Where the bars are packed, at least those that serve Guinness on tap, and everyone raises a pint and toasts to Arthur Guinness. This toast takes place annually on the third Friday in February. To my understanding this worldwide phenomenon was started in a bar in Pittsburgh, Pa., my own backyard. Did you know they actually take a head count of those that toasted? Yep it’s a celebration that increases and records the number of participated toasts and every year. It’s really something to experience. Over the years I’ve seen many contests with respect to the Guinness toast. One contest that always stood out to me, was an entry to submit a piece describing your perfect pint of Guinness. One lucky winner was chosen and won a pub in Ireland for a year. I never participated, although my intent was to do so, but by the time I would get around to it, the deadline had since passed.
Admittedly, I also attended the Guinness toasts because of the branded items given away. I loved being the select recipient of a Guinness t-shirt, hat or poster. To this day I still wear my prize t-shirts, mostly to work out in, but they are worn in pride. In 2005, my sister and I stopped in Ireland through our travels of northern part of Europe. Visiting the Guinness brewery and St. James Gate was at the top of my list, aside from Trinity College. We had a blast going on a tour of the brewery and eating dinner within the facility. My dinner was all made with Guinness, naturally, even down to the chocolate cake. Delicious! The experience was complete with my free pint of Guinness, in my Guinness glass, while sitting at the Guinness bar, surrounded by Guinness enthusiasts. Not to mention my stop at the Guinness store to purchase my Guinness slippers, glasses, pitcher, deck of cards, and yes I even my very own Guinness panties. What can I say? I am a walking billboard for all things Guinness. That was one of my favorite memories of Europe.
Being an art and marketing major, and an advertising executive, I really appreciate the Guinness marketing efforts. The old Guinness ads and campaigns executed over the years, specifically during the 1930’s with their famous Toucan really appeal to me. The illustrations and It’s A Lovely Day For a Guinness and My Goodness My Guinness signs not only exemplifies friendly and refreshing, but it speaks history to me. One level of the Guinness brewery is dedicate to the retro advertising efforts, hung on the walls like a museum. It’s so much fun to walk down the isles of a family legacy. Very iconic. Actually, 2009 marked the 250th celebration of Arthur Guinness.
Not to long ago, my good friend Markelle gave me a book called, In Search for God and Guinness. A really lovely book that sited many positive efforts exhibited from the Guinness family toward Ireland and around the world. I’m sure the Guinness family, like many families have had their fair share of individuals and situations that they are not proud of, but all in all, that family consisted of true and honest humanitarians. It’s really a remarkable story. I know there are other books on the subject and I’ve read briefly over the family history, but this book really shined the light on the family. One day I will go off on my own dissertation on the book and the Guinness family but not today.
Did you also know that the Guinness family, the same family who started with Arthur Guinness, is the same family who started the Guinness Book of World Records? The one in the same. That is one of those books Kyle has always had an infatuation with, not that I blame him. Some of the recorded feats and information are mind blowing!
You know, being a Guinness fan and loving all things Guinness, I never missed a Guinness toast, that is until a few years ago. I’m even a 1759 Guinness Society member! Putting myself through college by way of waiting on tables and bartending, I either worked the celebration or participated in the event. In my younger days, I would not have missed the toast for anything, but now things are different. For the most part my blog is all things Kyle, except for the random run in with a mouse or the war between Pudd’in and dad. Even though I write about it, sometimes I forget, but Kyle has really changed me. For the better, without a doubt. Today, instead of getting ready to go out and enjoy others who share my love for Guinness, I would rather hang out with my little man. Times have changed, and they do keep changing as he grows up. Who knows one day, I’ll probably be back at the Guinness toast enjoying my favorite drink with my favorite little man.
Click here to read more about the Guinness Toast, Guinness History or purchase your Guinness merchandise. (no promo intended)