“We’ve lost the art and craft that used to be associated with our trade,” Deirdre Devitt, owner of the Camden Street pub, a popular location in Dublin, told The Financial Times. “The young fellows behind the bar – they have zero training.”
Luckily help is on the way. Ger Galvin, the founder of the Hibernian Brewing School, has begun a course, set to start next month, to train Irish staff to pull “the perfect pint.”
“Is there a skills problem in Irish pubs? I think there is,” Galvin says. “When the world was simpler, bar staff were trained to the level they needed to be at. But now people want to know what they are drinking, what the difference is between one beer and another. Seventy percent of people who come into an Irish pub today don’t know what they want to drink. They are after an experience – and staff need to be able to respond to that.”
The ability to pull an Irish pint properly is practically seen as a birthright, something Irish people do instinctively and far better than foreigners in the bar business. And of course, endless hours are spent in pubs discussing how the perfect pint can be pulled.
The stakes are high. Research shows that tourists' favorite experience is “listening to Irish music in a pub” where pouring a pint of Guinness is a vital part of the experience.
In addition, Guinness Storehouse is the largest tourist attraction in Ireland attracting 1.5 million visitors.
The growth of craft brewing in Ireland has been a huge factor too, with bartenders selling up to 70 new craft beers compared to only a few just a few years ago.
The new focus is good, says Deirdre Davitt of the Camden Street pub. “It’s a sign that things are better,” Devitt says. “But pubs need to change. It’s no longer about slapping a pint on the bar.”
Below Guinness Brewmaster Fergal Murray explains the process of pouring the perfect pint:
Read more: Top ten facts about Guinness