While it’s always possible to find a reason to raise a glass, tomorrow Thursday September 24th is the 250th anniversary of the founding of Guinness! One of the most recognised brands in the world, Guinness is synonomous with Ireland and has been produced in Dublin since 1759. Here are 21 facts you might not have known about the “pint of plain”
(compliments of http://www.guinnessgearonline.com)
1. 2009 is the 250th Anniversary of Guinness.
2. St James Gate was not the original site for the brewery. Arthur Guinness began brewing beer in Leixlip, a town in County Kildare.
3. In 1759 he moved to an empty St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. A bigger brewery in a bigger city for bigger production of a great product!
4. The St. James’s Gate Brewery was leased for 9000 years at an annual fee of £45, or $65 USD! This lease INCLUDED fresh water rights. Imagine paying only $65 for rent for a year on anything, let alone a large brewery!! The fresh water rights caused problems with the Dublin Corporation, who wanted to charge a levy. This created quite a stir, and production was halted for a brief time while labourers blocked the water supply to the brewery. In the end, lucky for us, Guinness kept their fresh water rights as outlined in his lease.
5. Ten years later, in 1769, Guinness exported six and one half barrels of beer to England, their first exportation. This brought awareness of the product to a whole new market. As people emigrated to the new world, they would of course take their favorite brew with them.
6. By 2001, almost 2 billion pints a year were sold world wide.
7. Over the years, much slang has come about when ordering a pint of Guinness and here a few ways you can order one for yourself!
– “Arthur G”
– “Pint of black stuff”
– “Arthur Scargill”
– “Pint of plain”
8. Did you know that contrary to popular beliefs, Guinness does not contain oatmeal! It actually contains roasted malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. Also, the beer is not black, but actually a dark ruby red.
9. Guinness exports were banned from 1944-1947. Luckily, the ban was lifted and exports continued.
10. Guinness is the best selling drink in Ireland.
11. In 2006, Canada was the fastest growing Guinness draught market in the world. There are so many Canadians with Irish ancestry that the numbers are sure to keep climbing.
12. In 2006, more Guinness was sold in Canada than in Ireland.
13. Guinness is brewed in more than 150 countries worldwide, including Nigeria and Indonesia.
14. 40% of all Guinness sales are in Africa. When the weather’s that hot, you could use a few pints to cool down.
15. Over 10 million glasses are sold every day. Are you doing your share?
16. Currently all Guinness sold in the United Kingdom is produced at St. James Gate.
17. Breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will close in 2013. There was controversy in 2007 when discussion of closing the St. James Gate location arose. Despite the discussions, Guinness is staying put with renovations at the current location underway.
18. Renovations are estimated to cost $1 Billion USD. I’m sure they can afford it since their lease is only $65!!
19. “Guinness is Good For You” slogan is still used in many places worldwide. Some research does support Guinness has heart health benefits. Guinness now officially states they make no health claims.
20. Guinness contains only 198 calories per pint. That is less than most light beer, wine, OJ, or even light milk. Forget going on a diet- have a few pints!
21. The perfect pour should take 119.50 seconds. It is a result of a double pour at a 45 degree angle. The result a creamy head on a smooth dark beer served at 6 degrees Celsius. Next time you order a pint, time your bartender to make sure that you’re getting the best pint possible.
Slainte! (Good Health!)