A Contest for the Stout-Hearted

Importers of Guinness, that dark, heavy, creamy-headed stout that separates the men from the boys, are giving away the store.

Well, actually, the keys to a pub.

The company is sponsoring the fifth annual "Guinness Win Your Own Pub in Ireland Contest" in the United States. Those who have a love for the nearly black brew and a bit o' creativity must describe, in 50 words or less, "Why Guinness Is My Perfect Pint" for a chance at winning a bona fide Irish watering hole.

To the winner Guinness will hand over Finucane's, a cozy bar on the river Feale in Listowel, County Kerry. The Guinness Import Co., which sells the rich stout first made in 1759, has awarded pubs it finds through Irish realtors to three winners during the last three years. Since the contest's inception, almost 250,000 entrants have tried to win a bar.

Guinness will choose one finalist from each of 10 designated regions in the U.S. and in May they will all be flown to Ireland to compete in the finals--a pint-pouring competition, dart-throwing contest and essay recitation.

This is not the first clever Guinness promotion. "The Guinness Book of World Records," created by the company's director in 1951 for the stated purpose of settling arguments in pubs, is expected to pass the 100-million mark in sales by 2000.

Consumers can call the Guinness hotline at (888) MYPUB98 for more information. Essays may be submitted to Guinness Contest, P.O. Box 3169, Grand Rapids, MN 55745-3169 or via the Guinness Web site at http://www.guinness.ie. Entries are due by Tuesday.

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