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The Dubh Linn Gate turns five

It takes more than the luck of the Irish to keep a bar busy all year-round but the Dubh Linn Gate has now done it for five years in a row. What’s the secret? A high standard of service, variety in food and drinks, low-season specials, top notch live music, damn good Guinness and friendly staff that seem to stick around.

Point in case is manager Paul Cosgrove. He’s been running the traditional Irish Inn for more than four years.

"I really believe in maintaining standards and I guarantee you won’t find a better Guinness in Whistler, that’s for sure," Cosgrove said with steadfast conviction.

I decided to put him to the test, challenging him to pour the perfect pint. Considering I’d never drunk the stuff, I was secretly out of my depth but I played along in the interests of good reporting.

Cosgrove knows his Guinness. The Irish-born immigrant has been pouring and drinking it for years.

"I opened an Irish pub in Switzerland, worked in one in Chicago and been here for a while, so I know a thing or two about it," he winked.

He proceeded to give me a masters in all things Irish and all things Guinness. Like, did you know that Dubh Linn Gate is the traditional name for Black Pool, the body of water that lies underneath and around Dublin? Guinness recommends serving its beer at 4 degrees? Cosgrove is quick to rebuff he’s not going to argue though with someone from Ireland who wants his Guinness warmer.

"The best pint is always your local pint, right? In Ireland some of the pubs’ refrigeration systems are really quite old, making it impossible to maintain the four degrees level so I guess that’s what they’re used to," he said.

"There’s an expectation with a pint of Guinness. It has to be poured properly. Make sure you always ask the bartender if he drinks Guinness. If he doesn’t, he won’t appreciate how it’s poured. And ask how many pints they sell a week. If it’s not a high amount, don’t buy it, the beer will be old."

Dubh Linn Gate definitely sells a lot of it. Cosgrove said they’ve sold half a million pints of it since they opened and sell more in one bar than the rest of Whistler’s publicans put together.

The lesson goes on as the lunch crowd starts to settle around the long, square-shaped bar. I detect English accents to my left, and Irish to my right, but I’m fixated on my beer teacher.

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