This Man Has Made Sure Your First Sip Of Guinness After Lockdown Will Be Beautiful
In Partnership with Guinness
It was Guinness who said that good things come to those who wait, and boy, we’ve been waiting a while.
Meet the man who is making sure that our pint is everything that we hope it will be when the pubs finally reopen on July 4th. He’s Inspector Guinness, the bloke with the best job in the world: checking that every pint is as good as it can be.
Chris is one of 50 Guinness inspectors who have been traversing the UK to make sure that everything is ship shape and Bristol (well, Dublin…) fashion for when the pubs welcome the punters back this weekend, so we had a chat with him to catch up on what he and his team have been doing to get everything ready for the big restart.
The numbers are astounding. “We are stocked in over 70,000 pubs out there, and we will be visiting over 50,000 by the end of September,” explains Chris. “Everyone will be contacted so we can gain access and maintain Guinness quality and we’re going to get into as many as we can to help them deliver a great pint.”
It’s been a busy few weeks as the team raced to get everything in order for the reopening date. “The quality team have been back in trade for a few weeks now, working with all the different systems and servicing the equipment, cleaning beer lines and providing each outlet with a quality kit to assist with the new regulations,” said Chris. “We’ve been providing temporary bars and helping them deal with the demand for a pint of Guinness by providing them with an additional point to provide business both inside and in pub gardens. We’ve been doing all those things to assist,” adds Chris.
“During lockdown we were supporting the trade with telephone and Facetime calls, we’ve called thousands of pubs during that time across the 53 of us quality executives,” he continues. “We were all making phone calls during lockdown, working from home advising on how to clean the lines and provide the best possible conditions for reopening. We’ve been very busy.”
Those lines – which deliver Guinness from the keg to the tap and into your glass – have been a vital part of the process. “We’ve spoken to as many as needed to be cleaned in order to ensure that everything was tested,” says Chris of cleaning beer lines. “We’re on a very short timeframe here. At the moment I’m averaging about five or six calls a day.”
Of course, going out and doing the beer lord’s work is a lot of work, but it does come with rewards. Chris was glowing about their work with rugby union. “I look after Twickenham stadium, I’m very privileged,” he said. “Back in 2018 when Ireland won the Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam, we broke the record and sold nearly 1500 kegs of Guinness, which is a world record I believe. That’s something that makes me really proud, that moment. We’ve overcome the demand at Twickenham by investing in a massive bar out in the West car park that has 40 Guinness taps out of 80 in total.”
Given that Chris is the expert on all things Guinness, we had to ask him just what it was that made the black stuff so special. “First of all, there’s the dark distinctive appearance, it looks like no other,” he explained. “There’s the 261 years of history. It’s connection to its consumers: Guinness is brewed in 60 countries and sold in over 150, so it’s adored globally by its consumers. There’s the iconic and award-winning advertising, and most of all it’s the taste: there’s nothing that tastes like a pint of Guinness, on draught, poured in a pub.”
We can’t wait to get back to our Guinness, enjoyed in its natural setting, and it’s thanks to Chris and his team that it’ll be possible soon – just remember that drinking responsibly now means not just not going overboard, but also keeping your social distance.