A question of taste for stout-drinkers

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STOUT-LOVERS are being asked to decide whether their tipple tastes better when brewed in Ireland.

In a pounds 4m campaign the Beamish brewery is putting up nearly 2,000 posters telling drinkers that Beamish is better because it is the only stout on the market brewed in Ireland. The Cork-based company claims its rivals Guinness and Murphy are inferior because they are made in Britain.

However, Beamish's claim received only lukewarm support from the beer expert Roger Protz.

Mr Protz, editor of the Campaign for Real Ale magazine What's Brewing? and author of several beer books, said Irish-made stout was probably only slightly better. 'I think with modern brewing technology the difference is very marginal,' he said. 'The only difference would be the water.'

Guinness, which dominates the UK market, said there was no difference between its drink brewed in Dublin and the London- brewed product.

Drinkers thought the brew tasted better in Ireland for 'psychosomatic' reasons, a spokesman said.