In 1759, at the age of 34, Arthur Guinness signed a lease for the St.James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. He leased the brewery for 9000 years at an annual rent of £45. The brewery was only 4 acres in size, disused, and had little brewing equipment.
Arthur Guinness began by brewing ale at St.James’s Gate. In the 1770s, he began brewing ‘porter’, a new type of English beer, invented in London in 1722 by a brewer named Ralph Harwood. Porter was different from ale because it was brewed using roasted barley, giving the beer a dark ruby colour and rich aroma.
Guinness, formerly (1986–97) Guinness PLC, (1982–86) Arthur Guinness & Sons PLC, and (1886–1982) Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd., former company, incorporated in 1886 as Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd., best known as the brewer of a distinctive dark and creamy stout. In 1997 the company merged with Grand Metropolitan PLC to form Diageo PLC. Guinness remains a brand of that company, which is headquartered in London.
Guinness was founded when Arthur Guinness bought a small brewery in Dublin in 1759.
At first the brewery produced a variety of ales and beers, but in 1799 it was decided to concentrate exclusively on porter, a dark beer with a rich head.
Guinness died in 1803, and his son Arthur took over the family business and greatly expanded sales to Great Britain. By 1833 Guinness was the largest brewery in Ireland.
Arthur’s son Benjamin Lee Guinness
In 1855 Arthur’s son Benjamin Lee Guinness took over the company upon his father’s death. The beer had long had a strong following in the British Isles, and Benjamin spread its fame overseas.
Guinness’s stout gained a reputation for its nutritional and invigorating properties, and by 1883 the company was the world’s largest brewery.
A brewery opened at Park Royal in London in 1936 was soon outproducing the Dublin site. In the 1950s the company began producing Harp lager to fill demand for lighter brews.
In 1985 the firm acquired Arthur Bell & Sons PLC, a distiller of Scotch whisky, and in 1986 it bought The Distillers Co. PLC, which was the largest Scotch distiller in the world.
Guinness’s use of clandestine and apparently illegal stock transactions in acquiring Distillers created a major corporate scandal when these acts became known to the public.
Guinness’s merger in 1997 with food and beverage company Grand Metropolitan PLC resulted in a company, Diageo, that was the world’s biggest seller of spirits.
In 1955 the company began publishing The Guinness Book of Records, originally conceived to help settle trivia disputes in pubs; the property was sold in 2001.
The History of Guinness Stout
Ireland’s Famous Beer
Is anything more closely identified with Ireland than a pint of Guinness Stout? Like the British Empire itself, Guinness has colonized taste buds around the world. By the end of the twentieth century, the beer was sold in over 150 countries and brewed in 49. The Guinness Brewery and Storehouse are the most visited attraction in Dublin. With a rich roasted aroma and a hue of midnight ruby, Guinness, an Irish dry stout, has been an emblem of Ireland for over two centuries, and a pint is a must-taste for visitors to Ireland.
History of Guinness Brewery
Guinness Stout has been crafted at the St. James’s Gate Brewery since 1759 when Arthur Guinness launched his enterprise by signing a 9,000-year lease for the four-acre property.
Records show he was preceded by another brewery that started operating there in 1670.
Initially, Mr. Guinness brewed ale.
However, a new style of beer called porter was seizing the market, and Guinness embraced the trend. By 1779, the Guinness Brewery was listed as one of two official suppliers of beer and ale to the seat of government at Dublin Castle.
Five years later it was the exclusive porter supplier. By 1799, Guinness had eliminated ales entirely in favor of darker brews.
Many iterations of Guinness have been brewed over its 260 years of production. Their flagship offerings as listed on today’s website include:
Guinness Extra Stout (bottles): Subtly fruity notes of fermentation with a dry finish.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (bottles): Introduced as West India Porter around 1800, winning loyalty in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Today it accounts for 45% of Guinness’s global sales. This older style of stout has nearly twice the alcohol of draft Guinness, with a tart, refreshing flavor emphasizing the fruity notes of the roasted malt.
Guinness Draught (kegs): Smooth and creamy with balanced bittersweet flavor accented with roasted coffee and malt.
Guinness Draught: Dispensed by Nitro
Today’s Guinness draught (draft, in American) is a relatively recent evolution. In 1959, Guinness developed a unique nitrogen dispensing system which results in finer, smaller bubbles than a conventional draft system, ensuring a creamier, smoother drink with a distinctive blond head. Craft brewers in the US and beyond have adopted nitro taps for many beers, to achieve a subtler texture and evenly distributed flavors, in contrast to a prickly, aroma-forward carbon-dioxide-drawn beer.
In the 1980s, Guinness launched a draft version in a can, containing a specially engineered widget that imparts finely textured nitrogen-based bubbles upon opening.