A Brief History of Guinness

A Brief History of Guinness

3 pints 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 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 today really throughout the latter 1800s.

Guinness Early Days

guinness wooden barrell

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 that 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

malt being processed

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 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!

Guinness 9000-Year Lease

Ah, Guinness and their famous 9,000-year lease. If they were any more committed to that Dublin building they’d be asking it to prom! Half of me wants to joke about this being a prime example of overcommitting yourself way too soon, but to be honest, that’s just how some real estate relationships work – it just took them 9,000 years longer than usual.

It’s hard not to admire the tenacity of not only Guinness but all those involved in such an unusual and record-breaking financial agreement. Maybe Guinness’s 9000-year lease will someday become the stuff of urban legend!

Guinness Storehouse

inside the guinness storehouse in dublin ireland

Located in Dublin, Ireland, the Guinness Storehouse is an iconic seven-story building devoted to celebrating one of the world’s most famous beverages. As the home of the Guinness brewery since 1759, it offers visitors a unique blend of history, heritage and an appreciation for craft beermaking.

The Storehouse houses exhibits that overlook 250 years of archival records and memorabilia devoted to this global brand. It features interactive experiences that include learning about Guinness’ signature brewing process and savouring tastings from their “perfect pint” bar.

Tourists can also test their brewing knowledge by pouring virtual pints in the Gravity Bar—the highest point in Dublin with 360-degree views overlooking St. James’ Gate Brewery as well as other city attractions. With its commitment to educating travellers on its historic beers—all while hosting festive events—the Guinness Storehouse remains a must-visit destination for ale enthusiasts around the world, it is Ireland’s busiest tourist attraction.

The Company

guinness door st james gate dublin 2

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 favourite drinks, in pubs off licence and nightclubs all around the island.

Guinness Brewery

old guinness signage

Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1759, Guinness Brewery has become a global icon for creating a variety of beer styles ranging from stouts to lagers. As one of the oldest breweries in the world, Guinness has stood the test of time with their uncompromising dedication to crafting top-quality products using only the finest ingredients to ensure an exceptional drinking experience.

Known for flagship brews such as its iconic Original Stout and popular Guinness draft highlights the brewery’s depth and breadth of product offerings are wide-ranging, making it a perfect destination for beer enthusiasts everywhere. Saint James Brewery in Dublin is the home of the black stuff and beer enthusiasts.

Saint James Brewery’s commitment to sustainability not only ensures that each batch of beer is responsibly produced but also helps create awareness and donations towards good causes within communities all over the globe.

Draught Guinness

guinness draught can

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!

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Guinness pub sign

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is a full-bodied and malty stout beer that is brewed in multiple countries around the world. This unique stout contains roasted barley, which gives it its distinctive deep black colour and distinct flavour. It has an ABV of 7.5%, making it a great choice for those who enjoy strong beers. Its sturdy malt taste is balanced with just enough natural sweetness to please beer aficionados from all over the world.

The renowned Guinness brand offers drinkers an unforgettable experience like no other, due in part to its iconic creamy foam “head”. If you’re looking for a robust and complex stout, look no further than Guinness Foreign Extra Stout – for some real liquid poetry in a bottle!

Guinness Stout (Old Type)

guinness old type stout in a bottle

The old-type Guinness stout is one of the most popular and iconic beers in dark beer worldwide. It is a hearty and unique stout with an unmistakable ruby-black colour and a slightly bitter taste with slight hints of coffee.

The flavour of Guinness stands out from other stouts due to its higher level of roasted barley, giving the beer its distinct flavour while still maintaining a 4.2 per cent ABV. It pairs well with steak or shellfish but is also enjoyable on its own without food or as part of a dessert such as a tiramisu or ice cream floats. An essential part of any bar’s selection, Guinness Stout has been delivering its strong character since 1759.

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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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