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Blood for Stout

Guinness Foreign Extra StoutWell, there was a blood drive in Athlone the last week and yours truly went out to the IBTS to do his civic duty.

Ireland does not accept blood from anyone born outside of Ireland without testing it first. So, the last time my US-born self attempted this, I was turned away until a sample returned from their lab. Well, last week I got my letter encouraging me to come give blood this time around, so I suppose my bloodstream is free of tropical diseases, parasites, STDs or illegal substances. And hey, that’s good news for everybody, right?

Seriously though, the main novelty to the giving of blood in Ireland is their choice of restoratives. Now anyone who gives blood may find themselves in need of something to boost their system during the process, so blood clinics keep a supply of beverages and sweet and savoury snacks on hand to bolster the systems of those who donate. The difference here in Ireland is that among their restoratives are half-pint bottles of Guinness Extra Stout. Not to be confused with Guinness draft now (seriously, I was almost punched in a pub once by some US tourists when I insisted there was, actually, a difference), Guinness Extra Stout is high in iron and is frequently prescribed by Irish physicians to anemic patients.

What a lovely dose of medicine, eh?

I’ll tell ya – blood for Guinness . . . sometimes you just gotta love this place.