Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rally of Ireland and Guinness

While Alliance Motorsport is receiving the latest news from the newest even on the WRC calendar (and one we are looking forward to a great deal), we thought we might bring you some facts about Ireland before our proper predictions tomorrow night (if your unlucky)

More specifically, it’s best known export, Guinness

Now, despite the fact Stig the slayer of birds and eater of vast amounts of cat food has no love of this beer (He precisely calls it mud with nitrogen blasted into it), others are known to partake a spot of Guinness or two, usually with a knife and fork. Well known as the only beer you can chew on, it has a legion of fans all around the world and many here on this forum.

(I will admit this has been lifted from Wikipedia, the best source of cheat notes in history, however inaccurate they truly are)

Now while people think of Guinness as an Irish beer, it is in fact owned by a British company and has been since 1932.

Guinness stout is made from water, barley malt, hops, and brewers yeast. A portion of the barley is flaked (i.e. steamed and rolled) and roasted to give Guinness its dark-ruby colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered. Despite its reputation as a “meal in a glass”, Guinness only contains 198 calories (838 kilojoules) per imperial pint (20 fl oz UK) (1460 kJ/L), fewer than an equal-sized serving of skimmed milk or orange juice and most other non-light beers. The water used to brew Guinness comes from Lady’s Well in the Wicklow Mountains and the barley is Irish-grown

Draught Guinness and its canned counterpart contain nitrogen (N2) as well as carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. The high pressure of dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic “surge” (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above. “Original Extra Stout” tastes quite different; it contains only carbon dioxide, causing a more acidic taste.

Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with ABV over 7%, are perhaps closest to the original in character.

Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby.

Arthur Guinness started brewing ales initially in Leixlip, then at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland from 1759. He signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later in 1769 Guinness exported their product for the first time, when six and a half barrels were shipped to England.

Although sometimes believed to have originated the stout style of beer, the first use of the word stout in relation to beer was in a letter in the Egerton Manuscript dated 1677, almost 50 years before Arthur Guinness was born. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.

Guinness brewed their last porter in 1974.

Guinness Stout is also brewed under licence internationally in several countries, including Nigeria and Indonesia. The unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract (the essence) is shipped from Dublin and blended with a beer brewed locally.

The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK was switched to St. James’s Gate Brewery Dublin. People in the UK had previously stated that Irish-brewed Guinness tasted much better than that brewed in London.

The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonymn “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test.

Now amazingly, Guinness has health benefits

Studies show that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that antioxidant compounds in Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.

Guinness is not vegetarian, as it uses isinglass, which is a by-product of the fishing industry that comes from dead fish. It serves as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass is retained in the floor of the vat but it is possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer

So there you are, there is your beer lesson for today.

rally Ireland itself has a lot of promise for a spectacle, being held on the narrow, twisting and bumpy tarmac around Belfast and North-West counties of Ireland. Speeds will be high and cars will come back with underbody damage due to bottoming out, then there’s the ever present walls and hedges that take corners off.

And old time Rally of Ireland action

1986 Porsche incar!

Also, another fact is that Ireland is home to the most WRC cars of any national competition, with something like 80+ cars known to be there and with 90+ cars, with 34(!) of them WRC. Who said you hasd to have Group N for a successful championship?

Ireland also has a more open ideal for club cars with rotary Escorts, Escorts with STI running gear, Escorts that almost match the late Colin McRae’s in awesome, S1600, S2000, old cars, new cars, all sorts of cars.

Basically, they show what can be done and a lot of lessons could be learnt from their ideas.

Bring this one on and I think this will be one of the year’s highlights.

WTF, a serious post by Marcus to begin a WRC event discussion? Say it isnt so!

Okay, stupidity will be on tomorrow night when Finnigan and Rally Monkey report back to us and give us the inside scoop of who will win Rally of Ireland. After we stop them both eating Guinness. And stealing me lucky charms.

posted by admin at 9:37 pm  

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