To say that a lot of people drink Guinness on St. Patrick's Day is like saying the Pope is Catholic. But, do you really know how much Guinness is consumed on this holy day turned day of drinking and debauchery?
Greg Avola, CTO of beer enthusiast social network Untappd, has a far better idea than any of us – because he has the data.
"In 2015, during the peak hour of most check-ins that we see, around the 7 or 8 o'clock hour, Guinness was checked in [nationwide] on Untappd every single second," Avola says. "That just shows you the kind of volume that Guinness has."
For the uninitiated, Untappd is a social network similar to that of Foursquare in that users "check in" with whatever type of beer they're drinking at a time. It's a way for beer enthusiasts to find new brews to try and mingle with fellow beer lovers.
So, it pretty much goes without saying that Guinness has been the most popular beer on St. Paddy's Day through Untappd for years – since at least 2014, based on the figures I've seen. And, while Avola predicts that the status quo will remain this year, even this behemoth of beers loses a bit of its luster as the day devolves into "oh my god, how is it 2am already?"
Avola and Untappd call this "Guinness Creep," or the measurable drop-off in Guinness popularity after the day's peak drinking hours.
"We're seeing, around this peak hour of 7 to 8 o'clock, that it skyrockets approximately seven to eight times its regular average," Avola says. "And it only maintains that for around a two to three-hour period, then it starts to slow down and go back to where it usually is."
To put it another way, Avola says that the daily average for Guinness check-ins during peak drinking hours is close to 400 or 500 per hour. But, during St. Paddy's Day, that skyrockets to 3,600 check-ins per hour during peak times.
"I think the national average is 10% of all check-ins in that hour period are Guinness," Avola elaborates. "With the number of beers that are out there, 10% of all check-ins are Guinness."
So, there you have it, a conversation piece for when things get awkward at your office's St. Paddy's Day happy hour.