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Archive for May 3rd, 2009

Once upon a time, there lived a man by the name of Arthur Guinness. Arthur dreamed of owning his very own brewery.

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And in 1759, his dream became a reality with the signing of a 9,000-year lease at St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. Ten years later, Guinness exported his ale for the first time (mostly to England). To this day, St. James remains the flagship brewery for Guinness.

In the beginning, Arthur mostly brewed ales. He decided to stop making ales and start making porters in 1779. The Guinness that we know today  is based on the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century.

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Despite common folklore, Guinness did not invent the “stout” style. In fact, Guinness did not start using the stout label until the 1840’s. The first Guinness beers to use the term “stout” were the Single Stout and Double Stout. They had an original gravity of over 1.070. The contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are significantly weaker today.

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Guinness stout is available in a number of variants and strengths. The most popular by far is the Guinness Draught. More than 1.8 billion pints of it are consumed in 150 countries each year.

In honor of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the lease for St. James’s Brewery, Guinness has released a special beer. The anniversary stout will be available only in the U.S., Australia and Singapore. The length of release is rumored to be 6 months, starting from the end of April.

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Unlike the Guinness Draught, which uses a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout soley uses carbonation. The anniversary stout also contains more alcohol, weighing in around 5% (Guiness Draight is 4.2%).

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Whereas Guinness is definitely not my favorite beer on the market, it is definitely a “go-to” beer when my only options consist of the Evil 3 corporate beers, imported lagers and Guinness. To me, Guinness is a really light beer. I laugh at all my friends who try to tell me Guinness is too rich for them. Put Guinness Draught up against De Struise Brouwers Black Albert and the Guinness will taste like water.

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I am keeping my eyes and ears open for the arrival of the Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout in my local market … and I urge you all to do the same. Guinness is rich with history and deserves to be celebrated!

guinnessCHEERS!!!

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