Happy St. Patrick's Day! Join us in raising a pint to St. Patrick, the missionary who converted the pagans of Ireland to Catholicism and (apocryphally) drove all snakes out of the Emerald Isle.
In the United States we've bastardized the holy day into a bacchanal of overindulgence, because of course we have. It's sort of our deal. While those in Ireland are content with getting a day off, wearing green and enjoying some parades, we have taken all of that and turned it up to 11. We dye our rivers green. We drink green beer. We even indulge in green bagels with green cream cheese which is the most unholy abomination I can imagine.
Not all of us celebrate in excess and idiocy. Some are perfectly content to head to their locally watering hole to enjoy a couple pints of Guinness. A perfectly poured Guinness is a rarity, one can't think of another beer so aesthetically pleasing sitting on a bar top. Watching the head cascade down the sides of the pint glass can be quite hypnotic. It only gets better once you bring the pint up to your lips...
Back in 1759 (that's 263 years ago, aka a long-ass time ago) Arthur Guinness wanted to start a brewery. So he found a landlord in Dublin willing to give him a 9,000 year lease (aka a super-duper-long-ass time) and he founded the St. James Gate Brewery, the birthplace of the iconic dry stout.
Today, Guinness is enjoyed all over the world, and not just on St. Patrick's Day. While we all assume the beer to be popular in Ireland, the UK and across the pond here in America, but I'm sure you'd be surprised to learn that the country that boasts the third highest consumption of Guinness is actually Nigeria.
As you'll see in the gallery below, people don't just indulge in Guinness at the pub, they wear their loyalty on their sleeves. Many of Guinness tattoos we found have a toucan balancing a pint upon its beak, which on first glance seems curious for an Irish beer brand. Toucans thrive in tropical locales, Ireland is about as far from tropical as you can get on the spectrum of weather. The hard-drinking cousin of Toucan Sam is the brainchild of John Gilroy, who designed the memorable advertisement featuring the toucan after being inspired by watching a seal balance a ball on its nose at the circus. The series of ads featured not just the aforementioned seal and toucan, but also a tortoise and monkey, all enjoying a beautiful pint.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends! Sláinte!