Ireland's "Arthur's Day," in memory of beer maker and purveyor Arthur Guinness, "is being pitched as a sort of secular St Patrick's Day, a long overdue acknowledgment of the centrality of Guinness to Irish life," grumbles The Guardian's Ed Power. Unfortunately, for natives the iconic drink has become so passé that it's viewed as "the liquid equivalent of a plastic bodhrán or one of those strap-on Leprechaun beards you can buy in tourist shops." Harsh words for a beer that's often taken to be a national symbol of the Irish (what Power describes as "national relic").
Of course, the writer concedes, the brew is still a "favourite" in Ireland, its market share increasing this past year. But he sees some disturbing trends for the beermaker's demographics:
Anecdotally, however, Guinness drinkers belong overwhelmingly to two categories: older people and tourists. Step into a fashionable city centre bar in Dublin, Cork or Galway and you'll see the Celtic Tiger generation – those who haven't yet departed for Australia or Canada at any rate – relaxing not over filthy pints of the "black stuff" but coffee, imported lagers and craft brews (after years of false starts, micro-brewing is finally taking off in Ireland).
If it's any consolation to Guinness fans, Power doesn't appear to to be too fond of the Arthur's Day entertainment either. He particularly singles out "that bloke from The Killers who can't decide whether or not to grow a beard."
[H/T: AOL Surge Desk]