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The iconic Irish black beer with a foamy head – sold in almost every bar worldwide.

In 1759, young Arthur Guinness signed a lease on a small unused brewery in Dublin. The lease was for 9,000 years – that is how big and ambitious his plans were.


At the time, pale ale was very popular in Ireland. All breweries were producing this. The young brewer decided to take a different route: he started producing a dark and rich porter which was becoming ever more popular. Today, the main production has been moved to London, and the old legendary brewery has been converted to an interactive Guinness museum which is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.




In the mid-19th century, Guinness was the first brewer in Ireland to start exporting its products overseas. This was another bold move, given the perils of early sea crossings, which is why other Irish breweries were satisfied with domestic sales. By 1858, Guinness beer was already being exported as far as New Zealand.


According to Guinness brewers, six significant factors set them apart from other beers: roasted barley and hops, Guinness yeast, water from Poulaphouca Lake in County Wicklow, perfected maturation process, the iconic creamy head, and the knowledge of expert brewers which has been passed on for centuries.


They came up with a groundbreaking innovation that ensures the iconic creamy head of the beer. When it comes to dark beer, too many bubbles are not good, but everyone loves a nice foamy head. To achieve this, a widget, i.e. a hollow plastic sphere, is placed in the can during the packaging process. During the canning process, pressurised nitrogen is added to the brew, which trickles into the hole along with a little bit of beer. When the can is opened, the pressure in the can quickly drops, causing the pressurised gas and beer inside the widget to jet out from the hole, the result is a smooth beer with the iconic creamy head.


Guinness’s unique advertising campaigns are also one of their signatures. For example, as part of its 200th anniversary, 150,000 specially embossed bottles were dropped from 38 ships into the Atlantic Ocean over six weeks. Each bottle contained a colourful certificate from ‘the Office of King Neptune’ in which he extends his congratulations to Guinness on its birthday and provides permission to cast the bottles into the ocean. The bottle also contained a booklet recounting the story of Guinness, a special gold-coloured Guinness Stout label and even instructions on how to turn the bottle into a table lamp.


They have prepared an official six-step guide on how to pour the perfect pint of the world’s most famous Guinness stout. It states, among other things, the exact angle of the glass during pouring and the time it takes to pour the pint – 119.5 seconds.



The famous widget

In 1991, the British public voted the pressure controlling and foam ensuring widget invented by Guinness the greatest invention of the past 40 years.


The secret essence

According to manufacturers, the key ingredient in the beer is the ‘Guinness Essence’ – this ingredient is kept such a secret that some sceptics think it is just a marketing trick.


The Irish way

Guinness is the most famous Irish drink and is often considered the symbol of Ireland. Their advertising campaigns always contain a good amount of Irish humour.


Pioneers of change

During the Second World War, Guinness gave every soldier in the British army a pint of stout for Christmas. Since most Guinness employees were on the front line, veterans and workers from other brewing companies came to help to produce enough Christmas beer for soldiers. Arthur Guinness funded healthcare and schooling to improve the lives of his workforce and the wider community – he was not just an entrepreneur, but also a philanthropist. To this day, Guinness cooperates with a number of charity organisations and non-profit associations.


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