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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - Situational beer enhancement

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That’s right – situational beer enhancement. It’s a thing!

So, I often talk here about new beers, local beers and usually talk ill about drinking mass-marketed beer from giant corporations. Yeah, I’m one of those “fight the power/stick it to the man” types when it comes to my fermented beverages.

That being said, there is an exception to every rule; even I have my soft spots for some of the first beers I drank that turned me on to the world of “craft beer.”

So, in the next few paragraphs, I am going to shrug off my usual big beer cynicism and tell you why I always have, and always will love Guinness Stout.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to rerun my column about going for a beer rerun everyone and again. For those of you who DIDN’T read that column, I was basically advocating a “return to your roots” in terms of your own beer discovery timeline. For me, that is going back and drinking old favorites like Harpoon IPA, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and - for the purposes of this article - Guinness Stout.

I recently spent a few days in Portland being a tourist with my wife as we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. We had an absolute blast, of course, but let me tell you about a little beer highlight for me. We were out riding bikes along the Back Bay and it started to rain as we were headed back downtown along the Eastern Promenade. We had an hour and a half to kill before the next adventure, so we decided to lock the bikes up and pop into RiRa for a proper pint of Guinness.

There was something about being in an Irish pub on a gray and rainy day that really made that Guinness taste like the best and only option for beer at that particular moment in time. The nice Irish gentlemen chatting at the end of the bar certainly helped to drive the experience home as well.

Normally, when at a bar in Portland, I’m looking for the newest thing, or something from a local outfit that I haven't had yet. And I absolutely still advocate for that as the proper course of action when presented with the “what beer should I drink when in Portland, Maine” situation, but sometimes, you just have to listen to your gut and fall back on an old favorite.

I guess what I’m saying here is that there are times when conditions come together in such a way as to make a beer that you normally wouldn’t go for - or one that you used to go for - the absolute perfect choice in that particular situation. Guinness always tastes like Guinness, but on a rainy day in an Irish pub, it just tastes a little more like itself.

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