O'Neills Pub / Birmingham, United Kingdom
One of the benefits of being back in Birmingham (locally known as Brum making reference to the city's original name of Brummagem) is being able to walk across the street to O'Neills and tip back a pint of Guinness Red - or two. It is the same formula as Guinness Stout with hops, water, yeast and barley except that the barley is subjected to a lighter roasting, giving it a rich reddish complexion. Interestingly, there are no plans to actually sell Guinness Red in Ireland; it has been brewed specifically for sale in select pubs in Britain. And note the shamrock in the head - formed by the tap during the final pull by a skilled bartender. The test of a perfect pour is no air bubbles in the head, no spillage over the rim and a shamrock that maintains its form until the last sip empties the pint. There are numerous legends as to the origins of forming a shamrock in the head; however, I have come to the conclusion that it's nothing more than a clever marketing gimmick. Cheers!