Guinness is an Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James’s Gate brewery in the capital city of Dublin, Ireland. Guinness, produced by the Diageo beverages company, is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. It is brewed in almost 50 countries and is available in over 120. Annual sales total of Guinness in 2011 was 850 million litres (220,000,000 US gal).
1. According to a 2000 U.K. survey, Guinness drinkers with mustaches trap an estimated 162,719 pints of beer in their facial fur every year (each of them effectively paying a “mustache tax” of £4.58 per annum).
2. Guinness features a burnt flavour that is derived from malted barley and roasted unmalted barley.
3. For many years, a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed beer to give a sharp lactic flavour.
4. Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. On 31 December 1759, he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery. Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain.
5. The perfect pour takes 2 minutes! According to Mark McGovern, former brand manager of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the official, six-step process to pouring a perfect pint of Guinness takes “119-and-a-half seconds.” The key is “the surge”: allowing a three-quarters-filled pint to rest for about a minute as nitrogen bubble rise to the top of the glass and form the beer’s signature velvety head before topping her off.
6. Not only is there an official way to pour a pint of Guinness, but an official way to drink it, too. You must hold your elbow up, perpendicular to the floor (“Guinness drinkers are confidant drinkers”) so hold your elbow up, drink right through the head (the hoppiest, most bitter part of the beer) until you taste the sweet, roasted body.
7. The little white balls that clink around aluminum cans of Guinness are called “widgets” (patented by Guinness in 1969), and are filled with nitrogen-infused beer like you’d find on tap. When you pull the ring on your can, the change in pressure causes that nitrogenated beer to bubble out into the rest of the brew, creating a foamy head like you’d find on draught. This is why a can of Guinness is actually better than a bottle.
8. Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986. This led to a scandal and criminal trial concerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid.
9. In the 1980s, as the IRA’s bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the harp as its logo.
10. The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin.
11. In November 2015 it was announced that Guinness are planning to make their beer suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans by the end of 2016 through the introduction of a new filtration process at their existing Guinness Brewery that avoids the need to use Isinglass from fish bladders to filter out yeast particles.
12. Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurised and filtered.
13. Making the product requires knowledge in the sciences of microbiology, mycology, bacteriology, and thermodynamics.
14. Guinness only contains 198 kcal (838 kilojoules) per imperial pint (1460 kJ/l), slightly fewer than skimmed milk, orange juice, and most other non-light beers.
15. The production of Guinness, as with many beers, also involves the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass is used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass is retained in the floor of the vat but it is possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer.
16. Isinglass is a kind of gelatin obtained from fish, especially sturgeon, and used in making jellies, glue, etc. and for fining real ale.
17. Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that “‘antioxidant compounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.
18. The Guinness Book of World Records was made to settle a pub argument.
19. The Guinness brewery signed a 9,000-year lease in Dublin.
20. Guinness has 0.3 milligrams of iron per beer, which is about 3% of an adult’s daily recommendation iron intake. That may not seem like a lot but given that most adults fail to reach the recommended 19 mg/day every little bit helps!
21. Guinness may promote bone density given the plant hormone phytoestrogen that is found in the beer. This hormone may be the key to building dense bones! In a study of 1,700 women, those that were considered moderate beer drinkers had the highest bone density.
22. Findings from a new study indicate that mild to moderate alcohol consumption may actually protect against cognitive disorders that come with growing older, like dementia.
23. Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is actually a very dark shade of ruby!
24. Guinness were and are excellent employers! In 1928, employees had access to medical care, dental care and academic scholarships! And as well as their pension, they also had one fully-paid day in the country with their families!
25. Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wanted to marry a Catholic, he had to sign his resignation first!