7 Million Barrels of Porter

Yesterday I toured the Guinness Storehouse, on the site of the St. James Gate Brewery, where most of the world’s Guinness
is produced. It was your basic flashy, A-list tourist attraction, with multimedia displays taking the visitor step-by-step through the history, production, and distribuition of the black stuff, and ending with a free pint at the bar at the top of the building. And I have to report that it does indeed taste just a bit better here in its home.

Aside from the basics, here are a few things I’ve learned about Guinness Stout while here in Ireland. Some I leaned in the tour, some elsewhere.

  1. Arthur Guinness started the business in 1759, and signed a 9000 year lease on the location. This being the 250th anniversary of Guinness, that leaves them another 8750 years of brewing in their present location.
  2. Many Irish people will only drink Guinness in their own country. I have had more than one Irishman (including a 6’6″ rugby-playing bartender, whose pub I ducked into to avoid an altercation with a group of drunk Eastern Europeans I had somehow inadverntently slighted) tell me, “It doesn’t travel well.”
  3. One of the Duke of Wellington’s officers, after being seriously wounded fighting Napoleon’s troops at Waterloo, wrote, “when I was sufficiently recovered, I felt the most extraordinary desire for a glass of Guinness, and I am confident that it contributed more than anything else to my recovery.”

3 responses

  1. My God, I like Guinness now… I’m worried that having it there might ruin having it back here in San Diego. But it sounds like it may be worth it.

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