Two years ago, when the drive from here to Baker on Hwy. 12 was as green and misty as County Cork herself, two young Irishmen blew into town for the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale. One of them was a tailor in Dublin and the other, a marketing executive for the Guinness Brewing Co.
They flew to the U.S. with a planned itinerary for northern Rockies sightseeing. They were headed to Yellowstone and Jackson when they heard of the Sale from a Billings hotel clerk. They spontaneously changed their plans and spent the next three days using their brogues to maximum effect within the Bison, the Montana, the Range Riders, the Texas Club and the Trails Inn, and they mixed it up with locals in the grandstands at the fairgrounds.
They bought hats, boots, and spurs to wear into their offices on their first day home in Dublin. I shipped a bunch of books to Ireland for them: John Moore, McGuane, Doig, Toole, Stegner, Spragg, & Blunt. They called later and ordered more. Their appetite for all things Miles City was as big as my thirst has traditionally been for Guinness or Harp on St. Patrick's Day.
I thought we might see Miles City factor into Guinness advertising someday. We may still, although I hear that Guinness has been purchased by Diageo, an importer based in Stanford, CT. and is now called Diageo-GUINNESS USA. Evidently, Guinness is brewing Budweiser for Ireland now.
"Globalization Is Good For You" or something like that.
This St. Patrick's Day I'll be drinking locally-brewed Old Milestown because it's the finest, freshest beer found in eastern Montana and Jameson's, the Catholic whiskey, in a nod to the O'Faolain clan of County Waterford - the blood source of both sides of my family.