It is Ireland’s biggest beer export known and drunk all over the world. Here are just some of the reasons why it has become such an iconic – and well loved – global drinks brand.
IT’S LOVED THE WORLD OVER
Guinness really is loved the world over with pints being served in the most remote, distant parts of the world. Thanks in no small way to the wanderlust of the Irish who have set up home, and opened Irish bars in seemingly every major town or city in the world.
The facts speak for themselves.
- There are 10 million glasses of Guinness being poured worldwide every day.
- Every year 1.8 billion pints are served.
Being born, bred and brewed in Ireland it is understandable that the Irish have a rightful claim over Guinness. But Nigeria has now over taken Ireland as the second biggest market in the world for Guinness behind the UK. With Cameroon just behind Ireland in fourth place.
In fact Africa as a whole now accounts for over 40% of all Guinness sales, with Diageo, owners of Guinness, opening five breweries across the continent to cope with demand.
America completes the top five biggest markets in fourth place.
IT’S GOOD FOR YOU
Guinness is good for you. Officially. Well, it used to be, or so its famous advertising campaigns of the 1920s used to claim. Pregnant and nursing women were even encouraged to drink half a pint a day for the iron, which Guinness famously claims to contain.
Time has moved on and Guinness is no longer allowed to make any such health claims. But that does not stop scientists and health professionals making claims on its behalf. One of the most recent was a team of experts from University of Wisconsin who likened drinking a pint of Guinness a day to taking a small dose of aspirin to guard against heart clots and heart attacks.
But with only 198 calories a pint it can at least claim to be less fattening than the equivalent pint of orange juice or milk. It also only contains 4.2% abv of alcohol, which is lower than the average draught ale.
IT DEFIES PHYSICS
Guinness has been imbued with many mythical properties over the years, but have you noticed that it actually defies the laws of physics? The bubbles in a pint of the black stuff sink to the bottom of the glass instead of rising to the top.
That’s because most beers are carbonated with carbon dioxide, whereas Guinness uses a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It is the fact nitrogen bubbles are smaller than C02 that help give Guinness that creamy mouth feel.
And here’s the science bit. The Royal Society of Chemistry has discovered that the bubbles rose rapidly at the centre of a glass of Guinness, pulling the surrounding liquid with them and setting up a circulating current, while the outer bubbles moved downwards.
IT’S THE PERFECT PINT
As any Guinness lover knows, it takes time to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. A fact repeated time and again in all its award winning advertising (see below). Good things come to those who wait. One hundred and nineteen and a half seconds to be exact. That’s the result of an initial pour at a 45-degree angle, followed by a rest, which is crucial.
After a pause long enough to allow what’s in the glass to settle to a perfect black, the rest of the glass is filled, again at a 45-degree angle. It should have a creamy head, and be served at exactly 42.8F.
IT HAS THE BEST ADVERTISING
Guinness has been leading the way in beer and branded advertising since the 1920s. Ever since it took the decision to hire artist, John Gilroy, to come up with the designs and visuals to support its initial ‘Guiness For Strength’ campaign to promote the fact it contains iron. His use of animals, and most famously the toucan bird, for his follow up ‘My Goodness, My Guinness’ campaign, made Guinness part of popular culture never mind a beer brand.
The success of the long running TV ‘Guinness Time’ and ‘Good Thinks Come to Those Who Wait’ campaigns have meant news of a new Guinness advert can create excitement and interest like no other brand.
IT’S HERE FOR THE LONG TERM
When Arthur Guinness started out his fledgling brewing business back in 1759, he had so much faith in the success of his new stout that he took out a 9,000 year lease on St James’ Gate Brewery in Dublin for an annual fee of around $65.251 years later. Which is still in place today. Only another 8,750 years to go!