A Brief Lesson In Guinness History

Guinness, Dublin, Ireland

Since Arthur Guinness inked the real estate deal that would change brewing history forever, the world's most refined beer palates have been raising their glasses to him.

In 1759, Guinness paid 1000 pounds (with an additional promise of 45 pounds for each year's rent) for a 9,000 year lease on Dublin's St. James Gate. The Brewery's contents at that time... a copper, a kiev, a mill, two malt-houses, and accommodations for a dozen horses.

Guinness began as an ale brewer, and within ten years rose to become brewer to Dublin Castle. A true brew connoisseur, Guinness kept his eye on "porter", the revolutionary black beer that was emerging from England. Guinness, knowing that he could produce a better brew than the British, introduced his porter in 1770. By the end of the decade, Guinness' two porters, "X", and "XX", became so popular that Guinness ceased all ale production.

Initially, the Guinness trade was a local one, as was tradition at the time. Europe's canal networks, though, provided the means of supplying the continent's thirsty legions with the legendary brew. Guinness hit America's shores during the first waves of Irish immigrants during the late 19th century. Its strength and quality ensured that Guinness Extra Stout Porter (as "XX" was now called) survived the rigors of long sea voyages, and with each passing year, Guinness was exported to a burgeoning roster of nations.

Neither sea, nor war, could stop the Guinness stampede. During World War I, when severe energy restrictions halted England's brewing industry, the Guinness kilns remained fired and the ruby black, velvety smooth brew flowed throughout the globe.

Since the years immediately following the war through today, the line "GUINNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU" has remained the basis of Guinness advertising overseas. The line came from a British advertising campaign in the 1920's which asked drinkers why they favored Guinness. The universal response? "Because it does me good!"

Guinness drinkers in the United States can be assured that their pints come directly from the St. James Gate Brewery, in Dublin. Every time they enjooy a pint, they are participating in that great tradition founded over years ago by Sir Arthur Guinness. "SLAINTE!"

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