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Sláinte! 16 Delicious Facts About Guinness

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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 and read on for more facts about the legendary brewery. 

1. THE COMPANY INITIALLY LEASED THE BREWERY FOR 9000 YEARS.

Guinness started his 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 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 on the increasingly popular stout. 

4. THE PERFECT PINT OF GUINNESS SHOULD TAKE 119.5 SECONDS TO POUR.

There are six official steps 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 in its home country, Guinness also owns breweries in Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. 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.

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 THE BEER 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.

nanstoe, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

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 SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO HARPS WERE NOTICED BY THE PATENT OFFICE.

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. 

DURING WORLD WAR II, GUINNESS PROMISED TO GIVE EVERY BRITISH SOLDIER A PINT ON CHRISTMAS.

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. IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR YOU. 

As a 1920s advertising campaign exclaimed, a pint of Guinness does contain some extra benefits. (Guinness ended the campaign after a run-in with the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland.) Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded that the dark stuff contains a dosage of flavonoids large enough to help reduce the risk of heart attacks. 

14. THE FIRST GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORD WAS PUBLISHED TO HELP SETTLE ARGUMENTS IN THE PUBS. 

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. 

15. 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.

16. 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.

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New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]

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