Survivor’s Guide: Drinking Your First Pint of Guinness

Drinking that first pint of Guinness is right there on the top of the bucket list for many people visiting Ireland.

Because whilst you absolutely can find a pint of the beautiful black stuff all over the world these days, you can’t beat a pint of the authentic slightly sweet and creamy version right there on home turf.

But heading out for that first taste can be slightly daunting if you’re not from the emerald isle.

What you do it all wrong? What if you make a complete and utter fool of yourself? What if you’re clueless about the proper way to drink that pint of Guinness? You don’t want to be banished from Irish pubs for the rest of your life, do you? (not that it would really happen, anyway….)

Fear not- here’s our survivor’s guide to drinking your first pint of Guinness.


Equipment needed:

• Yourself
• An open mind and a smile if available
• A good Irish pub (in Ireland)
• A barman (to pour pint. Preferably local variety)
• Draught Guinness (not the bottled type)



1. Enter the pub you have selected and try your best NOT to look too excited.

OK, I know it will be hard but try your best. Just walk in, head to the bar and relax! (If you’re unsure of where to go, be sure to ask the friendly receptionist at the hostel you are staying. They’re sure to know the best spots.)

2. When the barman comes over, utter the words “Pint please”.

They should know exactly what you mean. If they ask which one, simply add “Guinness”. Again, don’t look excited. This is a great point to check where in the world the barman is from. Some purists recommend that your barman is Irish for reasons of authenticity. But it’s up to you!

**WARNING- the next bit is where it can sometimes go wrong, so pay attention!**


3. Your barman will partly fill your glass and leave it to rest.

Don’t touch it, or complain that he or she hasn’t filled it to the top. They will- be patient! Wait! They will probably start serving someone else but don’t worry. He or she will return.

(Ever seen this really famous advert? Make sure you watch!)

4. When he or she returns, they’ll fill your pint of Guinness right up to the top before passing it to you.

Resist the urge to take a sip! Pay the lovely man or lady and WAIT! You need to see the pint settle until you see a crisp line between the black and white. Patience is a virtue!

5. Now it’s time to drink. (Woooohoooo!!)

Legend has it that you should drink your pint of Guinness in four gigantic gulps, but this might not be your thing (nor mine!) Just make sure you take a big gulp that is big enough to break through that foam and get down to the beer underneath. This makes the flavour sooo much better.


So there you have it- our survivor’s guide to drinking your first pint of Guinness. Now all you need to do is head over here, find yourself a great Irish pub, settle in with a pint and meet the locals. Why not book yourself in to one of our awesome hostels and we can take care of (most of) the rest!

PS. When we refer to ‘barman’, there’s no sexism intended- the noun is intended to be gender-neutral 🙂