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Our Caitlin couldn't wait until 17.59 so her Arthur's Day pint came early...

At 17.59 today, thousands of Irish people throughout the country will be raising their glasses to Arthur Guinness -- but the Herald is always one step ahead.

I went for the elusive first glass of the day in order to give Arthur the appropriate toast, and learned a few things along the way.

After getting a mini masterclass on how to pull the perfect pint of Guinness, and even the appropriate way to drink one, I realise there is more to this stout that meets the eye.

And it's already got the advantage with me being on home ground -- the Guinness Storehouse.


Firstly, pouring the perfect pint isn't nearly as easy as it looks.

I learned the hard way that there are six key steps you must follow in order to ensure customer satisfaction, which include strategically placed fingers on the glass's logo and providing a drink with the precision measured in millimetres.

But my focus is this year's celebrations, and Master Brewer and the brand's global ambassador Fergal Murray told the Herald that he hopes this year's will outdo last year's.

"It was magic last year and everyone enjoyed themselves. There is quite a buzz around the place," he said.

The 2010 celebrations promise to be its best yet with a stellar line up of Irish talent stepping out to honour the occasion.

"From my perspective, all the acts that turn up are a part of the brand.

"And the ones that missed last year, like Westlife, feel like they missed the biggest party Dublin has ever seen -- which is why they're on board this year.

"Of course we'll also have Imelda [May] and Snow Patrol on board.

"Downtown the buzz is electric. All acts and bands around the country will be representing the brand and doing their part."

This year a number of the country's most popular acts will be stepping out to remember Arthur including, The Script, as well as David Gray and Paolo Nutini, who are jetting in for the occasion.

However, he also emphasised the philanthropic purpose of the evening.

Last year, the Arthur Guinness foundation gave €1m to 10 different charities and Mr Murray says that's exactly "what Arthur would want".

But Mr Murray's priority is to perfectly kick off the celebrations -- by pouring the perfect pint for Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody at 17:59 at the star-studded Storehouse party.


While this is a memorable night of celebrations, Guinness is urging revellers to drink responsibly and in moderation tonight.

Anyone celebrating should be wise about their consumption, eating plenty and drinking lots of water -- and not attempting to drive or operate any machinery.