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We all like an excuse for a few cheeky beverages and good ol’ Irish craic. Today is St Patrick’s Day, which means it’s time to drop the nation’s Great British reserve and party Irish-style. Guinness have teamed up with Patrick Kielty to make St Patrick’s day the friendliest day of the year, with a new hot off the press survey revealing who you think the friendliest and un-friendliest celebrities are and how friendly the UK really is. With Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield top the friendliest, and not-so-surprisingly, Simon and Naomi Campbell are dubbed the unfriendliest celebrities. The research also stakes the friendliest workers as Postmen, followed by Pub landlords. Join in the festivities and head out with 1 million other consumers who go out on St Patricks’s Day and attend one of 18,000 parties. Plymouth’s Kitty O’Hanlon’s will once again be bursting at the seams with the annual live performance from bluegrass, Irish folk rockband Mad Dog Mcrea. In Cardiff’s Dempsey’s Irish bar, there is live and traditional Irish music on for the night with Guinness on tap for just £1.95 and if that’s not enough, you’re in for a chance to win a gallon of the stuff. If live music isn’t really your thing, Oceana Plymouth and Bristol are hosting a green themed party with green cocktails and Guinness on draught. The Bunker on Queen’s Road, Bristol, presents St Paddy’s Dubsep Rebellion, bringing you some of the grindiest heavy dubstep, Drum and Bass and Electro. Take a leaf (or a whole shamrock) out of the Irish book and pick up a pint of Guinness and remember, a smile – and a Guinness – goes a long way.

To mark St Patrick’s Day, we asked Guinness for some St Paddy’s Day facts and here’s what they came back with:
* Over 13 million pints of Guinness are raised on St. Patrick’s Day across the globe, which brings more than 150 pints to life every second
* Guinness was the first brewery to be traded on the London Stock Exchange (1886)
* The first export shipment of six-and-a-half barrels of Guinness beer left Dublin on a sailing vessel bound for England in 1769
* In 1991 the brewers of Guinness won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for developing the widget which enabled Guinness Draught to become the first ever draught beer available in a can
* Gas bubbles travel downwards, instead of upwards, bringing a pint of Guinness to life with its famous surge and settle motion

They also revealed how to drink the perfect pint of Guinness, according to Master Brewer Fergal Murray.
Hold the glass with the Guinness harp facing you and your thumb over the harp
* Never look down. Look at the horizon and bring the glass to your mouth, not your mouth to the glass
* Take a sip, breaking the seal of the head of your pint
* Enjoy the Guinness cream moustache left on the top of your lip
* Each time you take a drink from the pint, hold the glass in the same position and repeat above, letting the liquid flow underneath the head of the pint
* Expect to experience the malty sweetness at the front of your mouth, the roasted flavour at the side and the distinctive Guinness bitterness at the back

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Words: Michaela Howe
Photo: Marlon Bunday via Flickr