The Guinness You Don't Know
by Sean O'Malley Jr.
Guinness has taken the world by storm since its inception in the 1770s. It is now brewed in 49
countries and sold in more than 150, and it's hard to go anywhere without seeing our beloved
Guinness on tap (even in Africa, where 40 percent of Guinness is consumed today).
And it's all due to Arthur Guinness, whose porter recipe took off. Here are a few interesting
facts about what has become the first thing millions of people thing of when they hear "stout".
The color of Guinness is not brown or black; its official color is deep ruby red.
Would you believe it: 10 million glasses of Guinness are sold every day around the world.
Guinness was one of the first trademark-protected products ever. According to the brewery,
the company came up with a trademark label in the 19th century to "protect the Guinness
name" overseas. That includes the harp on the label and the signature of Arthur Guinness (the
The harp on the label is based on a on a famous 14th-century Irish harp known as the "O'Neill"
or "Brian Boru" harp, which is now preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.
Its a stout kind of day for everyone: Guinness is sold in more than 150 countries.
The porter you love today originally began as an ale. According to Guinness, Arthur Guinness
originally brewed ale and only started making porter in the 1770s due to some competition from
The St. James’ Gate Brewery, in Dublin was leased for 9,000 years by the Guinness family.
The flat rate? An annual fee of about £45 (about $67), and an initial price of £100 (or $150).
The brewery is also behind the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1954, the head of
Guinness, Hugh Beaver, got into an indignant fight with someone and decided to commission
an official reference guide to solve all disputes. It was originally a promotional item Guinness
gave to bars who stocked the Guinness brew (because you never know when an official
reference guide could settle a bar fight).
Pouring a proper pint is a skill. A “perfect pour” should take 119.5 seconds. This is the result
of pour at an angle of 45 degrees followed by a rest. This is crucial. Anyone who really loves
Guinness would cringe if they saw anyone pour it any other way. After a pause, the rest of the
glass is filled, again at a 45 degree angle. What is handed across the bar should have a
creamy head and should be served at exactly 42.8F.
A pint of Guinness contains only 198 calories. That’s less than most light beers, wine, orange
juice or even low fat milk.
Guinness stout does not contain oatmeal. It's made of roasted malted barley, hops, yeast, and
water. And nothing else.
It was not so long ago in Ireland that pregnant women were told to drink a glass of Guinness
every day to fortify themselves and their baby.
When the Guinness breweries in Counties Louth and Kilkenny shutdown in 2013, there was
also talk of closing down the Dublin brewery and moving back it to Leixlip, in Kildare, where
Arthur’s career in stout making began. A national outcry ensued. Guinness will be staying put
on the banks of the River Liffey and multi-billion renovations have begun.
On September 24, 2009 at 5.50 (or 17.59 in the 24 hour clock) Ireland and the world
celebrated 250 years of Guinness with “Arthur’s Day”. The time 17.59 was cleverly chosen as
1759 was the year that Arthur signed his lease on St. James’ Gate. It also gave most people
enough time to finish up work and meet their friends at their favorite pub.
It may have been nothing more than massive marketing ploy but it was also one of the largest
united parties every held in the world. In almost every country across the globe merry makers
raised their glasses and cheered “To Arthur”.
The UK is the only sovereign state to consume more Guinness than Ireland, with the third
largest Guinness drinking nation being Nigeria, followed by the USA. The United States
consumed more than 979,000 hectolitres of Guinness in 2014.
And of course, I'm doing my part to help Guinness break the 1 million hectolitre mark in 2015!
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