Guinness Believer event


Tonight I attended a Guinness Believer event at the Merchants’ Exchange in downtown San Francisco. I received a constant stream of Guinness marketing from a hired non-Irish actor in exchange for all the Guinness, Harp, and Smithwicks I could drink from the tap, bottle, or can.

There was room for about 100 people in the room and about half of the available seats were filled. The presenter was a paid Jewish actor who does not drink. It would have been nice to have an Irish person present or at least have a marketer realize why a Black and Tan is not mixed with Smithwicks (there is some history behind the drink).

I always enjoy seeing people from a product’s country of origin at events, or at least someone with a passion for the product. Last year I was lucky enough to test drive an early production model Volvo S40 T5 after speaking with some of the Volvo staff direct from Sweden. I learned a lot about the brand, its direction, and their core values. There was a distinct national pride from the Swedes about their new Volvo.

I would have created a more interactive event. Want to show off the features of your new bottle? Show a cross section of the inside and let people play with the nitrogen widgets. Teach people how to pour a perfect pint and let them pour one. Conduct blind taste tests of bottled Guinness and Guinness from the tap.

I had such high expectations for the event but I was let down.


Commentary on "Guinness Believer event":

  1. Nick on wrote:

    How weird. I stumbled upon your blog while reading about issues on semantic markup and lo and behold, at the top of your page, a picture of the very same Guiness glasses I stared at, at the same event, last night. God, don’t you wish that presenter would just shut up?

  2. Jonas M Luster on wrote:

    I guess they feared that serving a Black and Tan in the middle of one of the largest concentrations of Irishmen on the Est Coast might lead to a bit of a scuffle. So by aldulterating the susbtance, at least they have plausible deniability, should the son of Ian Carr be in the audience :).

    But I agree, t’wasn’t all that.

  3. Jordan on wrote:

    Ahh, yes. I went to one in NYC back in April, and it was everything you described it as.

    Unfortunately, I went to another one tonight, and they’ve changed it. The “program” is still the same, but the legal department at Guinness put a stop to the free-flow, and now all attendees are limited to just 2 beers. Weak.

  4. Mona on wrote:

    GOOD INFO! Especially the two beers part.. I was a little suspicious, but now I’m so out!

  5. Jon on wrote:

    Guinness is an aquired taste how do they expect to sway people to drink with two Guinness’s they need to go back to the old ways, it just shows me that Guinness is a cheap company it’s not like they can’t afford it. I guess it’s not really an appreciation night. Weak I agree….I know a lot of people not including me that this event has pissed off and they dont’ drink Guinness anymore, lame but they were turned off.

  6. Satish Bhardwaj on wrote:

    I attended a Guinness Believer event at crash Mansion in New York City. Guiness promised lot of food and bear. Although bear was not very plentiful it was not as scarce as food. The food was a few sticks of hordors at each table. I’m told that It is crash mansion that is stingy. At the events at other locations like in Bay ridge, Brooklyn the food was not as scarece. But Guinness does not let you choose the event. You are assigned a location depending u[on your residence address. Guinness would do well to let go of crash mansion to host its believer events at crash mansion because it would make people non-believers.

  7. fakir005 on wrote:

    I also attended believer events twice at crash Mansion in New York City. Guinness promised plenty of food and beer in the emails that I received. Although beer was not as plentiful as promised, it was not as scare as food. The food was a few sticks of fish. The first time the there were more sticks than the second time. I don’t know how people managed attend the believer events at various locations. They said that the food was plentiful at believer events in other location. Guinness really does not let you choose locations. It only assigns you to one depending upon your areaode. So the cause of let down is the location where the events are held. Guinness will keep the believers if it lets go of the locations people are disapponted at.

  8. Jess Kiddeniski on wrote:

    It would have been nice to have an Irish person present or at least have a marketer realize why a Black and Tan is not mixed with Smithwicks (there is some history behind the drink).

    It’s something of a beer urban legend that “Black and Tan” beer mixtures has something to do with the Black and Tan troops in Ireland in the 20’s. (Guinness has a LOT of beer legends, myths, rumors, etc.)

    “Black and Tan” beers were made and bottled for many years in the US; altho’ not as prevalent as the “Half and Half”, the term was used as early as the 1890’s. Here’s a link to a copy of a label from some outfit in St. Louis (half way down, next to a Blatz and a Lemp label).

    Also, the reason why, in the US, Guinness “suggests” Smithwicks for their B&T’s is that the their subsidiary, the US company Guinness Imports, which imports the stout lost the rights to import Bass (when Coors bought the Bass brand several years ago) and now brings in their own Smithwicks brand for their distributors and retailers to take Bass’ place.