A Guide to Guinness
History & heritage
Guinness is one of the most distinctive beers in the world. An inviting liquid topped with a rich creamy collar and produced to an exact recipe using only the finest ingredients.
It all started over two hundred and fifty years ago, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9000-year lease on a derelict brewery at St James’ Gate, Dublin and so began the story of Guinness.
Never afraid to do things differently, Arthur Guinness soon stopped brewing ale and became the first Dubliner to focus solely on porter, a black beer from London finding favour in Ireland’s capital. By the early 1800s, while other breweries stayed close to home, Guinness struck out on its own, braving the perils of early sea travel to export its now famous ‘black stuff’ across the globe to locations as far flung as the Americas and New Zealand.
In 1959, Guinness made history as the first brewery to introduce nitrogen to its beer, resulting in the smoother, creamier finish that has come to be so synonymous with Guinness.
Today Guinness is one of the most recognisable and flavourful beers and it is served in more than 150 countries around the world.
- Malted barley is crushed by brew house mills then mixed with water.
- This mash then drops down into a kieve – or mash tun – that separates the grain from a liquid we call 'sweet wort'.
- It's now where Guinness’ unique dark-roasted barley comes into play. The precision of the roasting process is what gives this famous stout its distinctive rich taste and dark, ruby-red hue.
- 232 degrees Celcius is the temperature that transforms the barley into a black state of perfection.
- Hops are combine with the roasted barley to give Guinness its perfectly balanced flavour.
- After the hops are added, the sweet wort is then boiled for 90 minutes before leaving it to cool and settle.
- Next comes the Guinness yeast used for fermentation. This yeast is a strain that's been handed from generations past.
- And then finally maturation allows the beer to develop its perfectly balanced taste and consistency.
At first you detect the wonderful magical tones of coffee and dark chocolate – that’s the roasted barley. Then you experience the sublime creamy velvety texture – that’s the nitrogen bubbles. Followed by the perfect balance of the sweetness from the malt, the roast character from the roasted barley and finally the bitterness from the unique hops.
The perfect pint of Guinness is a unique experience in the world of beer. It's certainly a matter of taste but it's also about presentation, temperature and distinctive layers that create an impeccable pint of clear, dark stout topped with a white, dense, creamy foam.
How to do it:
- Take a cool, dry Guinness branded glass.
- Hold the glass firmly at 45º under the tap.
- Pull the handle fully forward toward you. Slowly straighten the glass as it fills.
- Leave the surge to settle allowing the creamy head to form.
- Top up the glass by pushing the tap handle away from you.
- Present the perfect pint to the customer.