With the beginning of March comes everyone's favorite excuse to toss back a few — Saint Patrick's Day. And while some may think that green-colored beer is the only way to enjoy a cold one this March, we'd rather share a Guinness or two.
The best-known of Irish beers, Guinness has taken the world by storm since its inception in the 1770s. It is now brewed in 49 countries and sold in more than 150, and it's hard to go anywhere without seeing your beloved Guinness on tap (even in Africa, where 40 percent of Guinness is consumed today).
And it's all due to Arthur Guinness, whose porter recipe took off.
We were surprised by what we learned about Guinness. There's a science to the perfection of a perfect pour, the Guinness bubbles (really — physicists have taken it upon themselves to figure those little suckers out), and how to properly enjoy a pint. (Though the answer shouldn't surprise you; the best way is to drink a pint in a pub in Ireland, obviously). But Guinness has a long storied history that makes it so popular worldwide.
1. What color is it really?
The color of Guinness is not brown or black; its official color is deep ruby red.
2. 10 Million Glasses Every Day
Would you believe it: 10 million glasses of Guinness are sold every day around the world.
3. First Trademark-Protected Product
Guinness was one of the first trademark-protected products ever. According to the brewery, the company came up with a trademark label in the 19th century to "protect the Guinness name" overseas. That includes the harp on the label and the signature of Arthur Guinness (the original brewer).
4. The Irish Harp
The harp on the label is based on a on a famous 14th-century Irish harp known as the "O'Neill" or "Brian Boru" harp, which is now preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.
5. Sold In More Than 150 Countries
Its a stout kind of day for everyone: Guinness is sold in more than 150 countries.
6. Arthur Guinness Day
In case Saint Patrick’s Day (and every day) wasn't enough reason to drink a Guinness, the brewery found one more day to celebrate. Arthur Guinness Day, a made-up holiday to celebrate Arthur Guinness, is now another day to listen to live music, party, and drink a Guinness of course.
7. It began as an Ale
The porter you love today originally began as an ale. According to Guinness, Arthur Guinness originally brewed ale and only started making porter in the 1770s due to some competition from other brewers.
8. Brewery Leased for 9,000 Years
It’s a fact that everyone loves to share: The St. James’ Gate Brewery, in Dublin was leased for 9,000 years by the Guinness family. The flat rate? An annual fee of about £45 (about $67), and an initial price of £100 (or $150).
9. Behind Guinness Book of World Records
The brewery is also behind the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1954, the head of Guinness, Hugh Beaver, got into an indignant fight with someone and decided to commission an official reference guide to solve all disputes. It was originally a promotional item Guinness gave to bars who stocked the Guinness brew (because you never know when an official reference guide could settle a bar fight).
See more about this beloved Irish beer.
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