Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

In Which Darwin's Nationalism Is Defeated

I'm only 25% Irish (50% Mexican and 25% Britannic mutt) but on being invited to a 'guy night out' poker game at an old friends house, I figured I should show the flag by bringing some good Irish alcohol for all to share. I was sure that Guinness would be available aplenty, and after fasting much of the day I figured a glass of Jameson would lay me flat on my back pretty quickly, so I set off in search of Murphy's Irish Stout.

For those of you who don't spend your time thinking about quality beer (Pabst drinkers, this means you), Murphy's is an Irish stout in style, but less bitter than Guinness Extra Stout and thicker and maltier than the (to my taste somewhat thin) Guinness Pub Draught (the stuff in pressurized bottles and cans). Murphy's does not have the semi-divine properties of Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter or Oatmeal Stout, but it's pretty solidly good stuff.

So I set out to HEB (our local central Texas supermarket chain, with a fairly decent beer selection). Huge displays of Guinness and Harp (why the Irish saw the need to create a bloody lager I can't imagine) but no Murphy's.

Undaunted, I tried the Twin liquors next door. No Murphy's. My anger grew and I tried World Market and two liquor stores. No Murphy's.

Now it was personal. I tried Albertsons, Randalls and two more liquor stores. No Murphy's.

By this point I was 45 minutes late for the party, so I gave up and headed on over empty handed.

What gives? Hasn't anyone heard that there's more than one brand of Irish stout? And while I'm complaining, why is it that everyone featured huge displays of Bass Ale for St. Patrick's Day? I don't deny that Bass is good, but after 600 years of fighting for our independence you'd think the bloody Brits could keep themselves to themselves one day a year...


Anonymous said...

Murphy's is superior to Guinness, thats for dang sure. I couldn't find it here (Dallas) for years and years. I had it out in California when I lived out there and knew how good it was. One day I found it at this po-dunk little gas station in a bad part of town. So I started frequenting that little gas station much more than I used to (which was never). Went in the other day, and they don't carry it anymore. I wrote down the name of it to the Chinese lady behind the counter. Maaapeeessss??? she kept saying. Harp is such a good beer too. Whats more is that it usually is 5.99 for a six pack at Kroger. That matches the price of Shiner which is a pretty shallow beer I think.

Bernard Brandt said...

Ah, yes, another example of a red-state inhabitant with blue-state tastes.

I found this to be the case when I was 13, going with my parents and family back to visit the rest of the family back in Tulsa and Dallas.

I loved and love my extended family, but when I found out that there were no public libraries in Tulsa, that was it for me.

Of course, since they've eviscerated the libraries in Southern California in the name of budget cuts, multiculturalism, and PC, it's probably all one now.

Maybe when Trader Joe's and Whole Foods comes to Austin, I'll think about parts mid-west. But there's still that wretched heat/humidity quotient in August/September. . .

Fidei Defensor said...

(Pabst drinkers, this means you)

Veiled insult noted. For you information a party I was at recently featured almost exclusivly Pabst.

What was good enough for the 1893 worlds fair (hence the blue ribbon) should be good enough for the rest of us.

Darwin, stay out of Milwaukee.

Actually I take that back, guess where Pabst is actually brewed now?


David said...

Brendan -

I knew I liked you for a reason, though I would have gone for the Guiness m'self. By the way, where in Central Texas?

Darwin said...


Well, it's only in brotherly love...

Actually, for what it's worth, I suspect that Pabst was probably a lot better back in 1893. America had a good and widely varied brewing industry in the 19th century which was wiped out pretty badly by Prohibition. Only the very largest breweries survived (making near beer and 'health drinks') and when they brought back their original recipies after Prohibition ended they often made changes. Plus, most cheap brands of American beer these days include a lot of rice hulls in the mash -- which helps provide alcohol without providing as much taste and fullness as malt.


We're just north of Austin.

Sir Galen of Bristol said...

Murphy's huh? I'll have to give it a try. It sounds as if, if I like Guinness (which I do), I'll like Murphy's.

Brendan, Whole Foods got its start in Austin.

I lived there for 8 years myself.

Darwin, I don't know why it's taken me so long to visit your blog, but you're going on my blogroll now!

Fidei Defensor said...

"America had a good and widely varied brewing industry in the 19th century which was wiped out pretty badly by Prohibition."

Thanks again Protestatnts!