In Search of the Perfect GuinnessBook - 2008
One man's tour of Ireland on tap; a rollicking travelogue in the tradition of Round Ireland with a Fridge and McCarthy's Bar.
"Regret" is the word that best describes Evan McHugh's first taste of Guinness. For an Australian raised on Vegemite, Ireland's black brew is very much an acquired taste. But the travel-writer is committed to acquiring it. Determined to discover exactly what makes a pint of Guinness so legendary, he crosses the Emerald Isle in search of his answers.
But in sampling pints as he goes, McHugh soon realizes that in each town, and at every pub, someone always says that the best glass of Guinness is to be found . . . . somewhere else.
In his comedic and sentimental journey, McHugh and his companion, Twidkiwodm (the-woman-he-didn't-know-he-would-one-day-marry), hitch around Ireland, meeting unforgettable characters. He goes rowing with a German bagpiper on the lakes of Killarney, windsurfing with a one-armed man in Dingle, survives an encounter with poteen and even finds his own bar . . . but keeps searching for the perfect pint.
As entertaining as it is informative, Pint-Sized Ireland is both a hilarious travelogue and thoughtful diary. McHugh's comedic voice swiftly moves in and out of pubs, peering into froth-rimmed pints, and leading readers to question: So does he ever find the perfect pot of black gold?
Those who have rested upon the barstools of Ireland, who have sought the famed "perfect pint of Guinness," realize that perfection rests in more than just the taste. McHugh captures the visceral experience of Guinness and Ireland in a warm memoir that's perfect to savor.
International Praise for Pint-Sized Ireland
"McHugh's idea of traveling is one continuous pub crawl . . . an entertaining homage to the black brew."
--- The Age (Australia)
"McHugh's writing style is intelligent, quirky, and conversational. The result is a consummately easy to read book, amusing and engaging. It'll make you want to go in search of your own perfect pint."
--- Adventure Travel
"This is a lovely book, well written, full of humorous anecdotes and works both as a travelogue and as a guide to drinking in Ireland. One of the real joys of this book is the way that the author captures the nuances and syntax of the way the people speak ('"Rooit", said the pub-landlord, 'in ye coom"'). After a few pages you find yourself falling into this yourself and by the time you finish the book you will have developed a full-blown Irish accent."---www.bootsnall.com