St. Patrick's Day has of course become a widely-celebrated international holiday. But at its core, it's Irish.
Being Irish comes with some notable responsibilities; mainly, knowing how to pour and consume a Guinness without looking ridiculous. This capability eluded Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Holding the drink up in front of a U.S. and Irish flag, he looked almost afraid of it as he cupped the glass from the bottom as if to present it like scientific specimen.
The moment came during a Friends of Ireland lunch. Outrage immediately ensued over Ryan's technique when an onlooker, Naomi O'Leary, tweeted the photo. Not only was he holding the glass strangely, his beer looked to be flat.
Some joked that it was actually a Diet Coke, and that Ryan shouldn't be pretending to consume a fake beer. Okay, that might be a little harsh as there's no evidence to prove it isn't really beer.
Regardless, many native Irish people are claiming the incident a disgrace to Ireland. A grassroots movement is starting to prevent Speaker Ryan from being allowed to enter Ireland, ever.
While that whole thing transpired, the question about whether Guinness is "good for you" was raised on CNN. Advertising campaigns in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's featured the lines "Guinness for Strength" and "Guinness is good for you," but are those valid? It turns out, yes and no.
Guinness does contain several important vitamins and minerals. It's made from grains and roasted barley, and like many beers has high amounts of B vitamins and antioxidants. But researchers say it doesn't quite replace vegetables—darn. It does however contain some of the highest levels of fiber of any beer.
Remarkably, Irish doctors used to advise pregnant women to drink Guinness. Yeah, maybe you shouldn't go that far. There have been some studies that have shown evidence that ingredients in beer can increase prolactin, a hormone necessary for milk production. But then other studies have revealed the opposite.
Now the bad news, Guinness is still alcohol. Because of that fact it must be treated like moderation. Men, if you have more than 15 drinks per week and ladies, if you have more than eight drinks per week, you are asking for long-term health problems. Conversely, if you are all about enjoying St. Patrick's Day and nothing else, you'll be fine. Exceptions can be made for those who want to be Irish.