At 17:59 p.m. today, drinkers will raise a toast to the 18th century brewer, who invented the iconic stout in Dublin. Diageo Plc (DGE), which owns the brand, says Arthur’s Day is a celebration that supports Irish bars struggling after the worst recession in the nation’s modern history....
Diageo came up with Arthur’s Day four years ago to celebrate the beer’s 250th birthday. It has since morphed into a nationwide festival every September. The London-based company is staging 500 concerts as part of the event, with bands including Manic Street Preachers and the Script turning up at bars.If any brewery has the juice to start a new holiday, I say more power to them. Problem is, the shindig may be too successful.
Yet this year, the campaign against Arthur’s Day is gaining momentum. In 2012, emergency ambulance calls in Dublin rose by 30 percent from the prior week amid the revelry, the Irish Times newspaper reported. Emergency consultant Stephen Cusack in Cork described the streets of the city on Arthur’s Day last year as being akin to the “last days of Sodom and Gomorrah.”Whoops. Part of the problem is that Guinness reportedly hands out free pints at that fateful hour, and it leads to a country-wide kegger, replete with late-night booting in the bushes. This has led to something of a PR backlash, which sort of defeats the point. Mayhaps Guinness needs to make a few changes for the 2014 celebration.
Now, since we're talking of news on the distant island, let me draw your attention to the Brewbot homebrewing system, developed by tech nerds in Belfast. It is a fully-automated homebrew system that you operate from your cell phone. I am not promoting this so much as regarding it with my jaw on the ground. What some people won't do for a pint of beer, eh?