Guinness Turns 250!!

by Gavan on September 24, 2009


Ireland’s national drink. My fondest memories of drinking Guinness (as it happened often) is sitting next to a rolling pub fire during the brutal cold wet winters eating a open faced fresh crab sandwich with a proper pint o’ Guinness in hand. Bliss.

As reported by Irish Central, this delicious black brew…

…began in 1752 when young Arthur Guinness inherited 100 pounds from his godfather, the Archbishop of Cashel, Dr. Arthur Price. The world has never been the same since.
Young Arthur’s father had helped brew beer on the Archbishop’s estate for the workers. Arthur and his brother decided to take their inheritance start a brewery in the town of Leixlip in County Kildare in 1756. Three years later in 1759, the 34-year-old Arthur took a 9,000-year lease on a rundown brewery in St.
James Gate
, Dublin, and began brewing stout, a dark beer turned black by the roasting process. Not having any Madison Avenue advice on market positioning or brand identity, he simply named it Guinness.

That proved to be a wise move.
Today, Guinness is one of the world’s most-popular drinks, and its 250th anniversary will be marked with a worldwide celebration: From Auckland to Austria and Dublin to Durban, the world will tip its hat and raise a pint to old Arthur and the legend he began.

At St. James Gate in Dublin, where the 9,000-year lease still has 8,750 years to go, the workers will still be brewing Guinness pretty much in the same fashion as Arthur did all those years ago.

But now it is a worldwide phenomenon, one of the biggest-selling alcoholic drinks in Africa, a national treasure in Ireland where the Guinness storehouse is Ireland’s leading tourist attraction, and exported all over the world wherever thirsty drinkers live.

Speaking of thirsty drinkers, the way to pour a Guinness is practically a science. “The entire process should take 119 seconds,” according to the Guinness master brewers. For many, it is well worth the wait and wait you should. I remember the first time the Missus had one in our local–as soon as it was set on the bar she grabbed it and there must’ve been 10 of us (or 3) that reacted fast to stop her. Guinness has to rest you see. As soon as it turns completely black that’s when you know it’s ready to be drunk (and yes, drunk we all became!)

My brother-in-law, Jarlaith, used to work for Guinness so I just texted him to find out some inside scoop on today’s “Arthur Day” festivities across the pond in Dublin. Reporting from Neary’s on Chatham Street, a pub “so old world that they refused to buy into the great free music planned in 40 ‘stout house’ pubs in Dublin [for today’s celebration like] Tom Jones, playing in The Brazen Head (I shit you not!). Though it is amateur night out. Miserable alcoholics like myself can’t even get into our usual pubs.” Sounds like he’s having a jolly good time!

Join me today at 17:59 (5:59pm) your local time (if it hasn’t already passed), by raising a glass of Guinness to the late great Sir Arthur.


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