I lived for a year in West Sussex back in the early 70's and found that i could get to love the food as long as a pint of some magical brew accompanied it. It wasn't just the Guinness, either. Gale's Ales- or any of the real ale pubs usually had some pretty amazing stuff in a glass that I could find someone local to tell me about. For the cost of a pint, I made many good friends- and I usually left a few pints ahead, as they tried to show the Yank a good time.

About a year ago I was back, in Ireland this time, and no matter how local I got - small pub in a village in County Mayo - the Guinness was cold, not cellar temp, but freezing cold. They told me that some government board had decided that the beer had to be refrigerated or it might cause disease. Funny, but generations of people seem to have done all right with warm beer. To add to the depression, I found that creeping Americanization had taken over in the pubs too. Young men were sitting around me drinking Bud Light - and that's not even beer, let alone good beer.

You know, America has wonderful things going for it. Why is it that the crap is what gets exported? The UK doesn't need Bud Light, they make the best beer in the world. Not to forget the Germans, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Australians, etc, but I do love a good stout.