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History of Guinness

Dark Secrets Of Draught
Mike Gibson, Technical Manager, Guinness Brewing Worldwide

In 1759, Arthur Guinness leased a small brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, for a period of 9000 years. His business began by brewing Dublin Ale which had problems as a product in that it had to be served up to the customer as a blend from several different barrels.

Seeing the advantages of a new kind of beer named ‘entire’, or ‘porter’ which could be served from a single barrel, Arthur decided to try brewing it and thus made the first of the vital business moves which were to secure him and his product a place in history.

Guinness ‘porter’ was an outstanding success and within ten years, St. James’s Gate was on it’s a way to becoming the greatest stout brewery of all time. By 1815, sales of Guinness had increased threefold and the brew was known all over the world.

In 1822, Arthur’s son (also Arthur) introduced a new business idea which was to change Guinness and the world. He laid down the exact specifications for brewing of ‘Extra Superior Porter’ - a stronger, ‘lasting’ beer, brewed only with the very best of materials, using more hops than usual, and with the new dimension of consistency.

This development, which pioneered the ground - breaking concept of ‘branding’, initiated a rapid expansion of the business to international status.

By 1870, the brewery had become the largest in the world, producing almost 2 million hogsheads (Large barrel Holding 2.38 hls) of Guinness a year.

Parallel to Guinness’s breakthroughs in product developments ran its no less important advances in marketing and advertising techniques. It was the first product to exploit true “image” advertising to its limits and became the ultimate “household name”.

Almost 200 years later, Guinness is available in 130 countries and the famous brand name is recognized by millions as a guarantee of the highest quality and purity. A remarkable achievement!

St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin, Mecca of Guinness worldwide and the fountainhead of Arthur’s famous dark brew is the world's largest stout brewery. More than 40 percent of the output it exported to overseas markets: the equivalent of over 300 million pints annually or almost a million a day. Remember the lease on this property does not expire until 31st December 10,759!

In today’s intensely competitive and fast-moving world of brewing the ethic which continues to inspire the great brewery is the proven legacy of Arthur Guinness himself-the flexibility to change, o compromise on quality, and forward-looking entrepreneurship.


Arthur had the foresight to cease brewing ale and concentrate on what mattered most, the perfection of his black porter and stout and the development of distribution networks throughout the British Isle and beyond.

Over the centuries the age of steam gave away to electricity, wooden casks changed places with metal kegs, horse drays yielded to motor lorries, barges to road tankers.

Today in order to meet the burgeoning demand for more and more creamy pints of Guinness, St. James’s Gate, through the recent investment of IRE200 million, has become one of the world’s most technologically advance breweries, having the flexibility to brew virtually anything to the highest international standards. Indeed, as a result of St. James’s Gate strong reputation for international innovation, it was natural that the Research Centre for Guinness Brewing Worldwide should be located in Dublin. Here all research into raw materials, brewing, micro biology, new product development, flavor research and analytical methods for Guinness Brewing Worldwide is carried out.

Along with the technology came the new scientific breed of brewers, and the skills of brewing chemists, administrators and engineers were harnessed for the first time.


Those were days of iron, brass and copper, when men wandered among great machines and wondered at their power. Links were forged with Spence's Cork Street foundry, which installed much of the motive power in the new brewery.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century the Guinness brewery became a city within the city of Dublin itself. The size of the property doubled in 1873. The company went public in 1886 inviting investors from all walks of life.

A new beerhouse followed; next came a cooperage, a racking shed, a maltings, and internal railway system, new vathouses and a storehouse for fermenting vessels. A quarter of a million wooden barrels once stood in the cooperage yard at St. James’s Gate, and each and every one of them was handmade and mended by Guinness’s own coopers.

St. James’s Gate now has sister breweries in five countries: Britain, Nigeria, Malaysia, Cameroun, and Ghana. Guinness is also brewed under license in the same time-honored way in a score of other locations, and so today you will find it in no fewer than 150 countries and new markets are being opened up regularly. In fact almost ten million glasses of Guinness are produced around the world every day.

Arthur Guinness
From St. James's Gate Brewery
Dublin, Ireland
Special thanks to Alf France,
Guinness Development Manager, U.S.A.
and the team from St. James's Gate Brewery.
Dublin Square would never be here
without your tender love and care.

\ Gura-My-Ugut \
(Thank You)
-Your Publican

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