If you’re ever planning to go to Dublin, Ireland, make sure your trip includes being in town on September 27th. That’s Arthur’s Day, the birthday of Sir Arthur Guinness, the man who created one of the most popular and beloved beers in the word.
I was fortunate enough to make it to Dublin for Arthur’s Day this year as a guest of Guinness, and besides discovering that it’s almost as popular a celebration (and excuse to imbibe) as St. Patrick’s Day in the city, I also found there’s a host of odd facts and unusual history to the man, the brewery and the beer.
So the next time you’re enjoying a pint of Guinness, you can regale your drinking buddies (and win some bar bets), with these 25 odd facts you didn’t know about Guinness:
- Guinness is brewed at the St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. There is no brewery named the “Guinness Brewery.”
- On December 13, 1759, Arthur Guinness singed a 9,000 year lease for the St. James Gate property. He paid £100 for the lease (about $160.32 US), and the rent on the brewery is just £45 (about $72) per year.
- 3 million pints of Guinness are brewed every day at St. James’s Gate (using 8 million liters of water), and an expansion is underway to increase that production by nearly double.
- Guinness is brewed in 49 countries worldwide. Guinness owns 5 of the breweries in 5 countries: Ireland, Malaysia, and three in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.
- Guinness Storehouse, built in 1904 and once the largest working tun (large cask for holding liquids), for fermentation in the world standing 26 meters high (about 85 feet), it is now the largest tourist attraction in Ireland. Opened to the public in 2000, more than one million visitors pass through its doors annually.
- The Gravity Bar at the top of the Storehouse is the highest bar in Dublin at 46 meters (151 feet) off the ground, offering a 360 degree panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.
- There are only 4 ingredients in Guinness: Water, Barley (both roasted and malted), Hops and Yeast. No artificial colors or flavors are added.
- Guinness Extra Stout was originally advertised as a health drink.
- After Great Britain and Ireland, the country that consumes the most Guinness is Nigeria. The US is 4th.
- About 600,000 pints of Guinness are consumed in the US every day. That’s 217 million pints per year, or about 7 pints every second.
- A pint of Guinness contains about 198 calories – less than a pint of orange juice.
- The ideal temperature to enjoy a lint of Guinness is 46 F.
The Other Stuff:
- The famous Guinness Draught wasn’t introduced until 1959.
- Guinness Draught in a can was introduced in 1988. The can contains a specially designed widget engineered to recreate the creamy surge you get from a tap.
- The first Guinness Book of Records was published in 1955.
- Guinness was the first brewery to be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange in 1886.
- Hops can’t grow in Ireland. It is the only imported ingredient in Guinness beer.
- Sir Arthur fathered 21 children with his wife.
- Guinness has employed over 300 coopers since its founding to make all their barrels by hand.
- Guinness trademarked their iconic harp in 1876. In 1923 the Irish government wanted to use a harp as their official logo and asked Guinness for permission. Guinness said no, so the harp of Ireland must always face in the opposite direction.
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