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Main Street University: Pouring the perfect Guinness at PeraBell

PeraBell

Not many people around here can say they’ve learned how to pour a Guinness beer at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Beverage director and part owner of PeraBell Food Bar, Dave Chiarella, is one of the few.

“You can’t just stick your glass under the tap and open it up,” Chiarella explained. “It has to be done right.”

He would know. 

Aside from his experiences in Ireland, Chiarella has worked in the food industry for the last 20 years, and has been bartending for almost the same amount of time.

“I always knew I wanted to bartend,” he said. “I worked delivering pizza or working in Italian restaurants. I went to bartending school as soon as I could. I worked at a few places around here, like Public House 49 and Dublin Deck before here … so I know what works.”

“This isn’t a part time job for me,” he continued. “This is my livelihood and I really do love it, so I put in the time to make sure my drinks are the best. I try to work with fresh ingredients and keep up with trends.”

PeraBell Food Bar was the right fit for Chiarella, he said, because it has a little bit for everyone. It’s the kind of place that you can go for a quiet date night on Saturday or catch a game with your friends on Sunday.

But today, St. Patricks Day, they’ll be serving a lot of Long Ireland, Jameson, and of course, Guinness.

While on vacation in Dublin, Chiarella had made a trip to the Guinness headquarters for a tour.

There you get to taste what Guinness has to offer, as well as learn about the history. The staffers also teach the art of the perfect Guinness pour at their Guinness Academy.

Patience, above all, is the secret ingredient to a great tasting beer, they stress.

“When you start pouring, you need to tilt your glass so the beer hits the inside of the cup and not the bottom,” our resident expert explained. “Only fill it about ¾ of the way up. Wait until the foam settles before pouring more. When it does, fill it so that the foam is above the rim. It should be smooth like a bed of snow with no bubbles.”

On really busy days like St. Patricks Day, juggling the process of pouring multiple Guinness beers is something the people at PeraBell have mastered. While one beer settles after the first part of this process, they’re pouring the next one.

Then they go back to the first one to finish it off. 

The do that, and then repeat.

When asked for about how many kegs they’ll go through on St. Patrick’s Day, Chiarella said he couldn’t say exactly.  

“It’s definitely a lot,” he said.


The Main Street University series is the brainchild of greaterpatchogue.com contributor Tiffany Rivera and focuses on the skills being learned — and the careers being built — every day in our downtowns.

About the author: Tiffany Rivera

Tiffany Rivera is a GreaterPatchogue.com contributor and the founder of Patchogue Moms on Facebook. She lives in Medford and works in Patchogue Village.