The History of Guinness Beer


Guinness is one of the most popular and successful brands in the world. They are famous for producing an Irish dry stout or dark beer. Today, they are brewing in almost fifty countries and they are available in over one hundred and twenty countries worldwide. Their dark beer is famous for its “burnt” flavor which is from roasted unmalted barley and malted barley. Guinness was established in 1759 and today, it still is one of the most famous beer worldwide that’s why let’s get to know more about how this delicious beer came to be.


It all started in 1759, when Arthur Guinness, who was 34 years old at that time, signed a lease for the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. He decided to lease the brewery for a period of 9000 years with a yearly rent of £45. The old brewery that Arthur Guinness bought was only four acres in size, it was disused and it had little brewing equipment. But despite this, Arthur quickly stepped up his game and Guinness beer became a successful trade by 1769 when he began to export his beer to England.

Arthur Guinness started his business by brewing ale at St. James’s Gate. After that, he began brewing ‘porter’, a new type of English beer that was invented by a brewer named Ralph Hardwood in London in 1772. Ale and Porter beers are not the same because the latter was brewed using roasted barley which gives the beer its rich aroma and beautiful dark ruby color. Arthur Guinness’ porter beer became successful and by 1799 he decided to stop brewing ale beer to focus on porter beer.

He then decided to brew porter in different types so that it will match different taste buds. One of these brews was the West India Porter, which is still brewed until today but it is now known as the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. And this brew is responsible for 45 percent of all Guinness’ sales all over the world especially in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

And just before Arthur Guinness died in 1803, he had established a successful beer brewing business. And to make sure it will continue in the years to come, he decided to pass on his business on to his son, Arthur Guinness II and he eventually took over the brewery. Since then, the beer brewing business has been passed on from father to son for over five successive generations which makes it one of the most remarkable brewing industry in the world.

Guinness Beer continued to develop their business by expanding their export trade as far away as Portugal, South Carolina, Barbados, Sierra Leone, and New York. They also introduced a new porter brew which was known as the Extra Superior Porter which has a slightly stronger porter and it is crafted and made especially for the English market. The Extra Superior Porter is still being brewed by Guinness until today but it is now called as the Extra Stout or the Guinness Original.

By the 20th century, Guinness became known as an international brand and as the largest brewery in the world. And in 1901, they established a laboratory where they used science to enhance their brewing craft.

Ingredients and Brewing Process

A Guinness stout is made from barley, hops, water, roast malt extract, and brewer’s yeast. Some barley is specifically roasted to give the Guinness beer its trademark dark color and distinctive taste. After that, the beer is filtered and pasteurized. From the day it was established until the late 1950s, Guinness beer was still racked into wooden barrels. It was until the late 1950s when they decided to switch to aluminum kegs and they called it “iron lungs”.

Before 2018, Guinness was using isinglass made from fish as a fining agent to settle out suspended matter in the vat. But vegans and vegetarians did not accept this kind of procedure because Guinness produces way too much beer every year. That’s why Guinness decided that they will discontinue their use of isinglass and switch to an alternative clarification agent instead.

Guinness Beer Varieties

  • Guinness Original or Extra Stout
  • Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
  • Guinness Bitter
  • Guinness Extra Smooth
  • Guinness Draught
  • Guinness Special Export Stout
  • Malta Guinness
  • Guinness Red
  • Guinness Zero ABV
  • Guinness Mid-Strength

From 1759 until today, Guinness beer is still a world-renowned and respected brand. It is being sold in over 150 countries with about ten million glasses being served daily from all around the globe.

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