Perfect Guinness 

The second annual quest for the Tucson bar that pours the best of the world's best. It's a mission of love.

In search of the perfect Guinness? Yes, it's that time of year again. No, we're not talking about filing your income tax, so don't worry. We're talking about who pours the best Guinness in Tucson. We were out again this year to find the perfect Guinness, or at least who pours the best one.

After last year's results we sat down (over a pint, of course) to discourse what we had learned and how we could improve on our testing. We noted from our past research that the best tasting Guinness had a good-sized head at the end of the beer. So we added measuring the beer head size before you took your first delicious gulp and after your last sip. The head size should have stayed the same or increased in size from the beginning to the end. We discovered that there is a direct correlation between how the beer is poured and the size of the head, and if the head lasts for the whole beer.

We believe the temperature, a double pour and the time between the two pours are the most important factors in a quality tasting Guinness. We can tell a lot from head size as well as if the head can hold a design and if dimples (which we create with our finger in the head) last the whole time you are drinking.

This year we used a laser for measuring the temperature along with our cooking thermometer. We got lots of comments when people saw us shooting this laser at the beer. Many people asked if we were with the board of health. Others would ask what we are doing when they saw us measure the head size, put dimples in the head or measure the temperature with the cooking thermometer. We told them we were trying to find the perfect Guinness. Then they asked if we work for Guinness, and if we did what a great job we had going around drinking pints. We replied that we didn't work for any company and this was a personal mission, a mission of love for a great beer.

When some bartenders saw what we were doing they asked how they did. We told them what they did right or wrong (never telling them their score). Some of the bartenders said they didn't do a double pour because a lot of their customers just want a fast beer. We responded by saying some people like to have their filet mignon burnt. Well, we all have our own tastes. A fast-poured Guinness or a burnt filet mignon is lacking a quality taste. They are both great when served correctly. So may we suggest to those bartenders, ask your customers first, "Do you want a fast or slow pour?"

This year we extended our research to 10 more establishments. To those who wrote us asking to get in this year's search, we thank you. After rating all the pints on the same scale, we returned to the top three to find our winner. The four runners-up for this year are: Belushi's, 1118 E. Sixth Street; Guido's, 424 N. Fourth Ave; Risky Business, 6866 E., Sunrise Drive, and Montgomery's Irish Pub, 9155 E. Tanque Verde Road. We would like to thank Leanne from Risky Business and Kim from Montgomery's for their fine second round of pours. They made this contest worth drinking.

We don't know if we have found the perfect Guinness because our research is continuous, but we have found the best Guinness in Tucson for 2002. The winner is City Grill, 6464 E. Tanque Verde Road. The winning pourer goes to Rick with support from Val.

When you are out this St. Patrick's Day, stop by City Grill or the runner-ups and ask them to pour you a perfect pint. We will continue to search for the perfect Guinness as true noblemen of the pint. If there are any comments you would like to make, or just get in touch with us, contact us at Drs. PP (perfect pint) Guinness, 601 S. Harvard Ave., Tucson, AZ 85710.

More by Charles Gallagher

More by Russell Kahn


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