Earlier this week, we received the email below from Brenna, a PR firm employee representing Guinness in Canada:
Dear Erik and Chris,
I read your blog and I’m sorry to hear that the Whistler Beer Festival was cancelled. It sounds like you guys had a fun time anyway! My name is Brenna and I am contacting you on behalf of Guinness Canada. Guinness is celebrating its 250th anniversary, and as one of Canada’s influential beer writers, I thought you might be interested in helping us celebrate.
In the spirit of Arthur Guinness and his remarkable contributions, we want to recognize and discuss what remarkable means to Canada. We are seeking requests for remarkable experiences through our Web site that Guinness Canada will fulfill for a lucky number of winners – one of which could be you or one of your readers.
Please let me know if you would like additional information about the Be Remarkable Canada campaign to pass along to your readers, and we hope you check out www.guinness.ca/beremarkablecanada or the supporting news release http://www2.guinness.com/en-ca/Pages/pressrelease.aspx
You can also follow us on Twitter (@remarkable250) where we will be sharing remarkable links to get people thinking about “remarkable” and on Facebook where we will be sharing all the submissions to spur further discussion around the concept of remarkable.
With all these online initiatives, we hope you will help us to define what remarkable means to this generation of Canadians. You’ll see from the first video on the news release page that we have already asked some people to share their thoughts.
Happy Canada Day!
I think what Brenna’s firm is trying to do for Guinness is kind of cool, although I’m sure they are being paid handsomely to get them some publicity. I appreciate that Brenna at least read one of our posts and personalized her email to us, but I don’t believe she is a regular reader. If she were a regular reader, she would know that we aren’t some of Canada’s influential beer writers! I’m not a huge fan of PR, mostly because it usually isn’t coming from a point of passion. Brenna is probably a very nice person and very good at her job, but she might not even drink Guinness or stout beer in general. I like that Guinness is paying to make some dreams come true, but does that have anything to do with remarkable beer? I suppose there isn’t much more Canadian than a pint of Guinness…wait, what?
So I ask the question, is Guinness a remarkable beer? I drink Guinness from time to time, but I personally don’t find it to be a remarkable tasting beer. It is a very smooth (nitrogenated) and drinkable Dry Irish Stout, but is not the best rated example of the style on Beer Advocate, not to say that BA is the be all and end all of beer ranking. I seem to recall drinking more interesting and enjoyable stouts (Old Yale Sasquatch is rather delicious) and I would have to say that I place Guinness at the low end of the taste scale.
What I do find remarkable about Guinness is its longevity and global brand power. In the world of mass market beer, there is yellow beer (macro lagers) and there is Guinness. At some point in the past, whether it be by luck or considerable marketing skill, Guinness became THE dark beer. I sort of hate that every dark beer any uninitiated beer drinker drinks or sees reminds them of Guinness. There is such a range of wonderful dark beers out there (that’s a whole other post), but all anyone ever thinks they are getting is “a meal in a glass”. This is another common phrase that I hate, because Guinness contains less calories than most other macro beers. It is the bubbles that make you feel full. Anyway, I do find the Guinness brand remarkable, just not the beer. That being said, I wonder what a pint of Guinness tasted 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago? I’m not saying that the current Guinness is bad, because I do drink it, but I bet it used to taste wonderfully different.
PS> The Guinness Book of World Records guy worked at Guinness in the 1950′s, not the same guy who made the beer 250 years ago.