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Thursday, March 17, 2011

5 Places to Score a Perfect Pint of Guinness

Today is St. Paddy’s Day, and you don’t need the luck of the Irish to find a well-poured pint of Guinness here in the States. First brewed in 1759 at St. James’ Gate in central Dublin, Guinness is a hallmark of the stout style, and when poured properly in stages over a two-minute period, the result is like liquid velvet. From Los Angeles to Boston, here are five bars that pride themselves on pouring you the perfect pint.

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg, stuphoto.net

B.D. Riley’s
In the midst of Austin’s art and entertainment district you’ll find this Irish pub so authentic that it was actually built in Ireland and later shipped to the Lone Star State. Their Guinness pints are also just as genuine, “with time taken to pour and settle in two parts,” according to manager Steve Basile, “through clean lines and into spotless imperial pint glasses.” The result? “The perfect pint o' dark.” Basile says. “Every pint. Perfect. Every time." And it seems that more than a few regulars have taken notice sometimes emptying two kegs a day.
Coordinates: 204 E. 6th St., Austin, Texas; 512-494-1335; bdrileys.com

Casey’s Irish Pub
What was once a basement bath house in turn-of-the-century Los Angeles has since become downtown’s most popular Irish pub, with each bartender taking the time to produce the requisite two-minute double-pour. According to head barman Mark deSalvo, they “fly through at least six kegs a week,” with some of that Guinness finding its way into dishes like traditional Irish stew, Guinness-battered fish and chips and even a beer float.
Coordinates: 613 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles; 213-629-2353; caseysirishpub.com

Johnny’s Irish Pub
Just a short distance from the University of Rochester, this Irish pub could easily pour pints as fast as the local coeds order and few would know the difference. Still, owner Johnny Savino insists that all of his bartenders use the two-part pour each time, regardless of how busy they are.
Coordinates: 1382 Culver Rd., Rochester, New York; 585-224-0990; johnnysirishpub.com

Moon & Sixpence
The English and Irish haven’t always gotten along, but English pub Moon & Sixpence spreads the love with perfect pints of Guinness. And according to bartender Jason Jones, the two-part pour isn’t the only important factor in getting you the best pint, “Our Guinness keg has a short, 14-inch line,” he says, “which definitely minimizes the distance the beer has to travel before it gets to your glass.”
Coordinates: 2014 NE 42nd Ave., Portland, Ore.; 503-288-7802

The Littlest Bar
Irish descendents make up nearly 16 percent of Boston’s population, so it goes without saying that locals have their pick of where to get a good Guinness. And yet a growing number of them continually choose the Littlest Bar, which, for what it lacks in space makes up for in consistent and clean two-part pours that are easily the best in town.
Coordinates: 102 Broad St., Boston; 617-542-8469