The Amazing Story of Guinness Beer

©Guinness Storehouse. 

This is for all the beer lovers out there! 🍻 Check out the incredible story of Guinness—it’s a tale as rich and satisfying as the beer itself.

How Arthur Guinness Shared His Beer with the World

It all started in 1759, right in the centre of Dublin, when Arthur Guinness, a man who loved brewing, secured an astounding 9,000-year lease on the St. James’s Gate Brewery. This bold move marked the beginning of a legacy that lives on today. Passed down through generations, the commitment to quality and tradition remains in every pint.

The Guinness Origin Story

The History of St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin

Guinness Stout has been brewed at the St. James’s Gate Brewery since 1759 when Arthur Guinness launched his business by signing a 9,000-year lease for the four-acre property. Records show there was another brewery operating there as early as 1670.

At first, Mr. Guinness brewed ale. However, a new type of beer called Porter was gaining popularity, and Guinness embraced the trend. By 1779, the Guinness Brewery was listed as one of two official suppliers of beer and ale to the seat of government at Dublin Castle. Five years later, it became the exclusive porter supplier. By 1799, Guinness had phased out ales entirely in favour of darker brews.

Guinness became Ireland’s largest brewery in 1838 and the world’s largest by 1886, producing 1.2 million barrels annually. It remains the largest stout brewer in the world. After being a family business for five generations, changes in ownership punctuated the last half-century, and today, it’s owned by Diageo, a British multinational beverage company.

Guinness & Advertising

For 170 years, Guinness let the beer do the talking, refraining from advertising. However, in 1929, the Guinness family agreed to allow advertising as long as the quality of the advertising matched the quality of the beer. This simple yet effective stipulation led to the first official Guinness advert appearing in the national British press with the slogan ‘Guinness is Good for You’. 

Since then, Guinness advertising has evolved, captivating generations with iconic campaigns featuring toucans, surfers, and ‘Sapeurs’. This advertising has become an institution in its own right, garnering numerous awards and accolades, upholding the family’s rule of maintaining exceptional quality. It’s no wonder that a simple search for ‘Guinness ad’ online reveals a world of delicious creativity and artwork, truly reflecting the essence of the iconic beer.

“Guinness adopted the harp as its symbol in the 1860s. As the beer travelled the world, the harp became synonymous with authenticity and excellence. Today, the Guinness harp is a tribute to both tradition and innovation, proudly displayed on bottles and labels around the globe.”

Quality, Then and Now

Guinness has always pursued perfection. Over a century ago, a team of adventurers travelled the world, ensuring that every drop of Guinness met the highest standards, while in the 1890s, a brave group of men set sail around the world to report back on the standard of Guinness.

From South Africa to Australia and China to Brazil, they literally risked their lives travelling the world by steamship, enduring stormy seas to ensure that Guinness was being shipped, stored, and served in quality conditions. Today, a dedicated quality team continues this tradition, ensuring every pint poured is a masterpiece of flavour and craftsmanship. 

➡️ Read More: Brannigan’s Guide to Pouring the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Beyond Brewing

Guinness’s impact goes beyond brewing. Committed to philanthropy, Guinness has contributed to communities worldwide, from restoring landmarks to supporting underprivileged communities. Employee welfare has been a cornerstone of Guinness’s ethos, setting a standard for corporate responsibility.

In the 1800s, the Guinness family contributed to the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. St. Stephen’s Green, a private green reserved for the city’s wealthiest residents, was purchased by Arthur Edward Guinness and donated to the City so the green space could be enjoyed by everyone within the area.

The Guinness Storehouse, St. James’s Gate, Dublin

©Guinness Storehouse. (2024, March 3). In Wikipedia.

The Guinness Storehouse is a converted brewing facility housing a museum of all things Guinness. The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. The ground floor introduces the beer’s four ingredients (water, barley, hops, and yeast), and the brewery’s founder, Arthur Guinness. An exhibit of company history, brewing techniques, ingredients, and Guinness’s celebrated advertising campaigns culminates at the glass-wrapped Gravity Bar on the seventh floor.

The Gravity Bar invites visitors to savour a pint of Guinness while taking in a nearly 360-degree panorama of Dublin and the working 64-acre brewery below. Other Storehouse attractions include the Perfect Pint bar, where visitors may pour their own pint with expert coaching — a carefully prescribed process that takes nearly two minutes. Also on site are several restaurants and a copy of the 9000-year lease, now void: Guinness bought the property many years ago.


Guinness is all about tradition, quality, and bringing people together. From the time of Arthur Guinness to today, it’s about keeping things top-notch. The harp on the label shows Irish pride, and they make sure every pint is just right. 

Join Us at Brannigan’s for a Unique Guinness Experience

So, if you’re ready to raise your glass and savour the magic of Guinness, come on over to Brannigan’s! Our family-run pub in the heart of Dublin is the perfect place to enjoy a perfect pint and celebrate the enduring legacy of Arthur Guinness. Cheers to good times and great beer! 🎉