"Never Order a 'Black and Tan' from an Irishman."

March 12 2011 - 10:50 AM

This St. Patrick’s day order a "Half and Half."

Do yourself a favor this year on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re wearing a "Kiss me…" shirt, well… O.K. but when you go to order your half Guinness and half lager/ale call it what it is… a "half and half," not a "Black and Tan." Then do everyone else a favor and explain why…

I was at a Guinness tasting last night and was surprised at their hyping the Black and Tan. I was in Ireland a couple of years ago and was repremanded repeatedly by Irish gents telling me emphatically, and in earnest, that a Black and Tan is "a dirty word" or "never order a black and tan from an Irishman." I asked the Guinness-shirt-wearing-folk the deal and got a big "I dunno…" The promoter eventually explained that the Black and Tans were British prisoners who were pressed into fighting against the Irish… which is not exactly true. With some digging I got the scoop…

To supress the Irish in the early 1920s the Brits recruited lots of
young men but were without enough uniforms. There were not enough pants
to go around… no kidding. So with their black coats and (what else)
tan trousers they became known as Dúchrónaigh or… Black and Tans. Considering their role in fighting against the Irish it’s no surprise that:

If you’re in England you order a Black and Tan.
If you’re in Ireland order a Half and Half. 

And get it with Smithwicks (pronounced Smith-icks). It’s a great ale
that went missing for a the past few years but now is being marketed by
Guinness in addition to Harp lager. I generally prefer a lager to an
ale but not only do I find Smithwicks better, my wife does too!

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