A Brief History of Guinness

A Brief History of Guinness

So, let’s go through some of the histories of Guinness and the company of the famous stout in the Emerald Isle.

Let’s look at the history of the famous stout, Guinness was originated by Arthur Guinness who was an Irish brewer at age 27 Arthur Guinness used a hundred-pound inheritance he received from his Archbishop Godfather Arthur Price.

He used it to invest in a brewery in Ireland about 17 kilometres from Dublin and four years later Arthur Guinness moved to Dublin and signed a 9,000-year lease on a four-acre brewery at St. James Gate.

This 9,000-year lease was a way of really holding down the territory, that’s unbelievable that those even existed back you know in the 1700s.

Then in May let’s see, actually the ninth of May 1769 Guinness exported its first ale which was a shipment of six and a half barrels to Great Britain.

As you might know, the black stuff is traditionally is considered a dark stout beer the first Guinness was rolled out and we use the terms single stout and double stout. The company produced porter extra stout foreign style very much in terms that are used in today really throughout the latter 1800s.

Guinness Early Days

Arthur Guinness died in the year 1803, but his business and brand excelled over the coming years! The business was passed to his son Mr Arthur Guinness II. He took over the business and ran it quite well, the business had passed through five generations of the family.

The black stuff became one of the top three British and Irish Brewers and sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1860 to 779,000 thousand barrels in 1876.  

So, in a ten-year frame give or take they doubled production and by 1886 the stout became a public company it was averaging 1 million and 138 thousand barrels a year.

Then another 10 years later, the company went from 779,000 thousand barrels in 1876 and then about another 10 years later it looks like they went up another large amount in value.

The company at that time was valued at about 6 million pounds and then by 1914 the company was producing two million six hundred fifty-two thousand barrels of beer a year which was more than double its nearest competitor by the 1930s.

Guinness became the seventh-largest company in the world and what’s wild is that the growth of this black stout exploded, worldwide it became one of the world’s best-known brands.

How Guinness is Made

If we look at the ingredients today, the black stuff is made from water, barley, roast malt and extracted hops and brewer’s yeast.

A portion of the barley is roasted to give the stout its a dark colour and characteristic taste which features a really nice burnt flavour.

The shout has a thick creamy head which comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen and carbon dioxide when poured. Some retro modern-day drinks made from Guinness include the Irish Car Bomb a pint of the black stuff with a shot of Bailey’s dropped into the glass and then knocked back and then we also have the Guinness black and tan which included a half a pint of pale ale on the bottom with the black stuff poured on top slowly. 

You could kind of pour it over the top of a spoon and then you get a dual-layer of pale ale and then dark ale on top.

Then we’ve got a chocolate cake which I actually have created myself you get a pint of the black stuff with a shot of vanilla vodka and man it just tastes delicious so I just wanted to throw out a few facts about Guinness I’m actually enjoying a pint of the black stuff right now so you know! I’m joking of course!

The Company

Arthur Guinness made different types of stout, one of the most popular is the beer West India Porter, this super tasty beer accounts for a huge forty-five per cent of the black stuff sales globally.

In the year 1830, the St James Brewery became the largest in Ireland, and Arthur Guinness II grew the businesses export market into America, the Caribbean and Africa.

The company opened breweries in different locations in Nigeria and one in London, The Royal Park Brewery was a massive success.  The company grew and grew over the years. The last member of the Guinness family to hold positions in the company was Benjamin Guinness.

In 1997 The company merged with another company Grand Metropolitan for a sum of 24 million. A new company was formed called Diageo PLC. The new company name means in Greek “World” and in Latin “Day” because of the large number of sales each day worldwide. Millions purchase Diageo’s brands on a daily basis worldwide.

Diageo is a publicly-traded company, so the good news you can buy some shares in the business! The share price has seen some good times since 1997 when the share price was 513.00 British pounds per share, today the share price is 2908.50 British pounds. The company pays dividends too.

The black stuff is sold in a total of 150 countries all over the world today, it’s one of Ireland’s favourites drinks, in pubs off licence and nightclubs all around the island.

Draught Guinness

The world-famous Guinness draught was created in 1959 and it became really popular, especially in Ireland, where all the pubs have a draught tap of the black stuff. This new development of Guinness meant that you could get a pint that was poured under pressure with a mix of gas from a large dispensing unit. This system created a mighty fine pint, with a tall creamery head that makes you want more!

In 1988 the company launched its new Guinness Draught product in a can thanks to an amazing widget in the can that helped to produce a really good creamery pint of the black stuff from a can!

When visiting Ireland, you have to try a pint or two if you haven’t before!

Check out my article here on the Best FREE things to do in Dublin!

I hope you find this post useful, I welcome any questions or suggestions by email to info@allthings-ireland.com


John C

All Things Ireland

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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