Only here for the beer

Brewing memories

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – David Milne (Letters, April 15th) refers to a quarter pint of Guinness being called a “pony” in the 1970s. At the same time, Guinness in bottle was the preferred drink in the Waterford area, where the half-pint bottle was called “a guard” and the pint bottle was “a sergeant”. I wonder what they were called if drinking continued after closing time. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.


Sir, – It is well known that workers at Guinness had, as part of their remuneration, the right to some of the product. This morphed in time into a crate of pint bottles. As there was no real advertising benefit to this action, and it was considered an unnecessary expense to label these bottles.

In due course it became widely felt that this was special “better” Guinness that was exclusive to employees, and the “labelless” bottles became a much sought-after commodity. Woe betide the Guinness man who offered anything other than the good stuff to a guest! – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Further to Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary (April 10th) and recent correspondence from Tony Corcoran, (April 13th), referring to the “live yeast” contained in the old bottles of Guinness, as a boy, a very good friend, whose father worked in Guinness, always had a jar of “GYE” (Guinness yeast extract) in the kitchen. It was very similar to Marmite and certainly an acquired taste (on toast).

I think the product was discontinued once the live yeast was removed from Guinness. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.