A Short History Of Guinness

Think of Ireland and you think of the stunning scenery of the Emerald Isle, shamrocks, St Patrick, perhaps leprechauns and almost certainly Guinness.

Founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, the company that would become the most famous stout business in the world was launched at St James’s Gate in Dublin. Just 10 years later, Guinness was selling in England. Porter was a new beer on the block and in the 1770s, Guinness started making it. Using roasted barley to give the drink a rich, dark colour, it grew quickly in popularity. Arthur Guinness was astute enough to realise that different types were required to maximise opportunities with different tastes, and so the different variants of Guinness were born.

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Today, the word GUINNESS® and the logos that go with it are trademarked. The business was passed to Arthur’s son in the 19th century and since then it has gone through a further five generations. The major features of the trademark created by Benjamin Guinness are still in use today, including the iconic harp logo. The growing success benefited the family in more ways than financial and Benjamin was appointed Lord Mayor of Dublin.

It was as recently as 1988 that people were first able to enjoy draught Guinness at home, thanks to the ‘widget’ inside beer cans.

St Patrick is also important to the culture of the Irish. Find out more about the legend of St Patrick and see the information on the Irish Genealogy Toolkit https://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/legend-of-saint-patrick.html.  If you’re feeling inspired by Ireland’s patron saint, you can find St Patricks Day gifts from specialist retailers such as those here: https://www.shamrockgift.com/st-patricks-day.

Present Day

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Guinness as we know it today is made by Diageo, a new company that was formed in 1997 when Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merged in a huge deal worth £24 billion. The new company name is an amalgamation of the Latin word meaning ‘day’ and the word for ‘world’ in Greek, with the intention of communicating a global business. Guinness is now sold in 150 countries with an impressive daily consumption of 10 million glasses of the new firm’s brands.

In 2014, a new environmentally sustainable brewery opened in Dublin. Brewhouse 4 is the most technologically advanced brewery anywhere and uses a massive 100,000 tonnes of barley every year to make Guinness. It remains a significant contributor to the country’s economy.