In 1752, Arthur Guinness inherited £100 (£19,615 today) from his godfather and decided to set up his own ale brewery in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. After some success, Arthur decided to move to Dublin, Ireland’s capital, and signed a 9,000-year lease for the unused St. James’s Gate Brewery in 1759. Ten years later, Guinness exported his first ales as he shipped a modest six and a half barrels to Great Britain.
However, it wasn’t until 1799 that Arthur Guinness decided to stop brewing ales and focus on perfecting bold, black beer after a type of dark beer from London became, known as porter, became increasingly popular in Dublin. Little did we know that this leap of faith would eventually lead to the creation of one of the world’s most loved and renowned beers.
In 1803 Arthur Guinness II took over the business and in 1821, 69 years after his father set up his first brewery, precise instructions for brewing ‘Guinness Superior Porter’ were recorded; the beginnings of ‘Guinness Original’ and ‘Guinness Extra Stout’.
- The draught beer’s thick, creamy head comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen when poured.
- Guinness & Co makes €2 Billion annually in Ireland alone.
- Guinness’ annual sales total 850 million litres, which is the equivalent of 1.5 billion pints.
- Guinness is a type of brew known as ‘porter’, a dark style of beer that originated in London. It is well hopped and made from brown malt, hence the colour.
- During WW2, all British troops in the British Expeditionary Force in France were given a bottle of Guinness to go with their Christmas dinner.