Sláinte! 15 Facts About Guinness Beer

iStock.com/Nagalski
iStock.com/Nagalski

Under the guidance of Arthur Guinness and his heirs, Guinness has been brewing pints of its famous stout in Dublin since the mid 18th century. Pour yourself a glass of the black stuff (which actually isn't black at all) and read on for more facts about the legendary brewery.

1. The company originally leased its Dublin brewery for 9000 years.

Arthur Guinness began his beer business in 1759 by renting an unused, four-acre brewery at St. James’s Gate in Dublin for the next 9000 years. He paid an initial £100 and locked in annual rent at £45. However, the original lease was voided when the company bought the property and the brewing operations expanded to 50 acres.

2. The lease included free access to a water supply.

And the owner was very protective of that privilege. In fact, the one time local authorities tried to make Arthur Guinness pay for his water, he is said to have grabbed a pick-axe from one of the sheriff’s men [PDF] and swore at them until they left.

3. There was once an ale as well.

Guinness started his beer company by brewing two beers: a porter and an ale. However, the Dublin Ale was dropped from production in 1799 so brewers could focus producing more on the increasingly popular stout.

4. It takes 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.

A bartender pours several pints of Guinness
iStock.com/VanderWolf-Images

There are six official steps [PDF] to pouring a pint of Guinness, including waiting nearly two minutes for the beer to settle between the first and second pour.

5. The beer's official color is ruby red.

It’s easier to see the slight tint that comes from the roasted barley if you hold the pint up to the light.

6. Guinness is brewed in 49 countries around the world.

In addition to Ireland, Guinness also owns breweries in Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. The beer is brewed in a total of 49 countries and served in more than 150. All of the ingredients are sourced locally, except for one: the Guinness extract, a secret mixture that is added to a Guinness brewed anywhere in the world.

7. Ireland isn't the biggest consumer of Guinness.

The country ranks third on the list of places where residents tip back the most Guinness annually, after Britain and Nigeria. Every day, 10 million glasses of Guinness are consumed around the world.

8. The bubbles in a pint of Guinness sink because of the shape of the glass.


When a Guinness is poured, the beer flows downward along the side of the glass, dragging bubbles along with it which then move upward through the middle and form the creamy head. This circulatory pattern is created by the fact that pint glasses are wider at the top than at the bottom giving the bubbles more space to rise from the middle as opposed to from the side.

9. Guinness was one of the first companies to offer employee benefits.

Employees who punched the clock at the company in 1928, just one year before the Great Depression, were entitled to on-site medical and dental care—and two free pints after every shift. Guinness also consistently paid its employees 20 percent more than other brewers and gave them full pensions.

10. The Guinness Harp was one of the first trademarks in the U.K.

The harp, along with Arthur Guinness’s signature, made its first appearance on a Guinness beer label in 1862 and was officially registered in the trademark office in 1876. The harp is a nod to the beer’s Irish roots. The same instrument appears on Ireland’s coat of arms.

11. The patent office noticed the similarities between the two harps.

The Storehouse at Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland
iStock.com/powerofforever

The government ran into issues when trying to register the harp as a state symbol under international trademark law because the symbol and the Guinness label were so similar. Eventually, the state and the brewery were able to reach a compromise: the harp on a bottle of Guinness would always face right, while in official use, the harp would always be left-facing.

12. Guinness promised every British soldier a pint of beer on Christmas Day during WWII.

Guinness made the statement before realizing that much of the company's work force was also serving abroad at the time. When the company discovered they needed more workers in order to brew enough beer, retirees showed up at the plant to help out. With the help from veterans and workers from other brewing companies, Guinness was able to stay true to its word.

13. The first Guinness Book of World Records was published to help settle pub arguments.

After a particularly unfruitful hunting trip, Hugh Beaver, the managing director of Guinness, mentioned that the bird he and friends had been hunting—the golden plover—must be the fastest bird in the world. When Beaver was unable to locate a reference book that could back his claim, he decided to create one. He stamped the Guinness name on the cover and handed the book out for free to pubs to help customers settle the debates and bets that happen so frequently after a pint.

14. It has been consumed underwater.

As part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the lease on the St. James’s Gate brewery, the company held a contest that promised the winners would get to drink a Guinness like never before. A submarine bar was commissioned in 2009 and three years later, the winners went under the Baltic Sea in Stockholm to enjoy their pints.

15. Guinness created its own superhero in Africa.

As part of an advertising campaign, Guinness created a full-length action movie called Critical Assignment that was shown in cinemas across Africa. The story follows the strong journalist Michael Power as he tries to stop a corrupt politician from buying weapons with stolen money. Power gets all his strength from drinking—you guessed it—Guinness.

Love Red Wine But Hate the Stains It Leaves on Your Teeth? Wine Wipes Can Help

yula/iStock via Getty Images
yula/iStock via Getty Images

How your mouth looks after a glass of red wine depends on your genes and hygiene habits. People with strong enamel and not a lot of plaque can emerge from a wine bar with a relatively clean smile, but for those of us without those markers of exceptional dental health, red wine usually leaves dark, unsightly stains. If you fall into the latter group, there's a way to enjoy wine and preserve your smile without sticking to whites and rosés.

Using Wine Wipes is a convenient way to remove red wine stains from your teeth. The wipes come in individually wrapped packets like wet wipes. If you suspect your mouth is looking more purple than you'd like it to, tear open a packet, remove the wipe, and rub it over your pearly whites to make them pearly white again. The wipes comes in an orange blossom flavor, which won't spoil your palate in case you want to have another glass of wine or two.

Woman with wine wiping teeth.
Amazon

The Wine Wipes are billed as toothbrush alternative for when you're drinking outside your home, but wiping your teeth may be even better that brushing them if you want to remove wine stains. The bristles of a toothbrush can scratch enamel, creating entry points for dark pigments. While brushing your teeth can help reduce stains if you do it 30 minutes before you start drinking, or after you’ve had your last glass, Wine Wipes can be applied between glasses.

A package of 12 2-inch wipes is now available on Amazon for $5.74. If you want to stay extra prepared, the wipes also come in packs of 36, 48, and 60.

Wine Wipes packet and box.
Amazon

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Host an Epic Summer Party at This 40-Seat Pop-Up Bar—Without Leaving Your Backyard

The Yard Bar
The Yard Bar

Wishing you could go down in history as the host of the best backyard summer bash that your neighborhood has ever seen?

With the Yard Bar, you can. The portable bar, created by husband-and-wife team Andy and Kerri Marin, is 30 feet long, seats up to 40 people, and comes with virtually everything you need for an unforgettable party: wooden bar stools and high-top tables, a flat-screen TV and commercial sound system, recessed lighting, running water, a generator, and plenty of room for a fully stocked bar. And the retractable awning will prevent any actual rain from raining on your parade, wedding, birthday party, or whatever offbeat summer holiday you might be celebrating.

You’ll have to provide the alcohol yourself, but don’t worry if you don’t have much bar-stocking experience—the Marins can work with you to create specialty cocktail recipes for your event, and they’ll even help you figure out how much alcohol you’ll need depending on the size of your party.


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If your own yard isn’t quite ideal for such a legendary affair in the making, feel free to book the Yard Bar for somewhere less conventional. “If you can imagine it somewhere, it can probably go there,” Kerri Marin told Philadelphia Magazine, “It’s even been on top of a boat!”

The simple, rustic elegance of the Yard Bar achieves the perfect blend of indoor warmth and outdoor freshness, and it’s a great solution for people who love the idea of going to a bar, but aren’t so keen on the crowded, rowdy, noisy nature of hordes of strangers drinking in a contained space.

The Marins have seen such success with their Philadelphia-based bar that they’ve now expanded to upstate New York and several areas of Florida, including Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.

If you’d like a portable pub with more of an Irish vibe, be sure to check out The Shebeen or the inflatable PaddyWagon.

[h/t Philadelphia Magazine]

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