just the facts – Guinness
With this week marking the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Guinness stout, here are five facts about the brand.
1. St James Gate in Dublin was not the original site for the Guinness brewery. Arthur Guinness began brewing beer in Leixlip, County Kildare with a GBP100 inheritance from his godfather, before moving to Dublin in 1759. The St. James's Gate Brewery was leased for 9,000 years at an annual fee of GBP45 (US$65). The lease included fresh water rights, which caused problems with the Dublin Corporation, who wanted to charge a levy. As a result, production was halted for a brief time while labourers blocked the water supply to the brewery. Guinness eventually managed to keep its fresh water rights as outlined in the lease.
2. The first exportation for Guinness was ten years later in 1769, at which time it exported six and one half barrels to the UK. This brought awareness of the product to a new market, and as people emigrated to the new world, they took Guinness with them. By 2001, almost two billion pints a year were sold worldwide. Today, around ten million glasses of Guinness are consumed around the world every day.
3. In 1936 the first overseas Guinness brewery was opened in London, followed by four more in Nigeria, Malaysia, Cameroon, and Ghana. Guinness is now brewed in almost 50 countries and sold in over 150. In 2006, Canada was the fastest growing Guinness draught market in the world. Despite it being the best selling drink in Ireland, more Guinness was sold in Canada in 2006 than Ireland. However, around 40% of all Guinness sales are in Africa.
4. Despite Guinness making no health claims, its slogan: "Guinness is Good For You" is still used worldwide. However, some research does support Guinness has heart health benefits. It seems Guinness contains only 198 calories per pint, which is less than most light beer, wine, orange juice, or even light milk.
5. The ancient Irish Harp symbol was initially used as a symbol for Guinness, registered in 1876. It has since been adopted by the Irish Government as its official symbol. In 1955, the Guinness company produced the Guinness Book of Records. It originated because a bar debate could not be settled with existing reference books.
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