I like to think that Guinness is to beer what espresso is to coffee. Just better, thicker, richer... The picture here is of the classic clover (or more specifically a shamrock) that us New Englanders like to put in the froth of a draught Guinness to help us pretend we're more Irish than we really are. We like to grill bartenders who can't do it, cause there is a bit of a trick to it. Those who can do it well pretend that it makes them a little closer to godliness, and those of us who like Guinness let them believe it, cause in reality, we believe it too.
I don't know where the clover in the foam came from originally, but I'm willing to bet it's more of an American thing than authentic Irish. If you know one way or the other, please let me know. Another cool part is that once poured, you can watch the nitrogen bubbles flow down the sides of the glass, which you'll see in the video blow.
Interesting fact about Guinness, the folks from Ireland who I know over here don't like it here. They say it's gross after shipping, calling it muck. ...or more accurately "Mook", the oo's sounding like they do in "foot", and not in "food"... They've also been known to call it "pess", which if said with an Irish brogue, you should be able to interpret.
There are folks who go around to bars, and I don't know if they work for Guinness or what, but they give out awards to bars who pour the "Perfect Pint." Those who do, get a nice award to hang on their wall.
The perfect pint pour:
Guinness is a little lower in alcohol, ringing in at only just 4%.
There is also an urban legend that once upon a time, Guinness didn't taste good... Which I find hard to believe, so I think this myth is already busted, but, all of a sudden, supposedly it tasted great. When they emptied the barrel, there were dead bloated rats in the barrel... So because they thought their drinkers wouldn't go for rat bones in the brew, they use fish bones. So the legend goes anyway. I think it's a crock, but you know, if it's true, it's working... so I'm good.