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Guinness: The Story of Ireland's Famous Stout

Kirsten Fedorowicz

When I was in Ireland, I visited the Guinness Storehouse at the original St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland. The storehouse is several floors tall, with specific exhibitions dedicated to how Guinness is made, their advertising campaigns over the years, how to properly taste and drink Guinness, and a glass sky floor with a bar. One of my friends said, after we had spent several hours wandering around, “It’s a Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but for grown-ups.” Overwhelming and amazing, it is clear from the storehouse that Guinness has become an Irish sensation that has spread all over the world.

In 1759, Guinness founder Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on a dilapidated building on St. James Street. (The lease has since been nullified, as the Guinness company purchased the land). Determined to make it in Dublin, Arthur Guinness began to brew ale until he heard about a dark beer becoming popular across the sea in England. He began brewing stout and started shipping barrels of it to England and America.

From these humble beginnings, the Guinness business continued to grow. At the forefront of globalization, creative advertising, and scientific brewing, the Guinness Company has grown into a worldwide sensation. Now, the Guinness brand is recognizable around the world and has millions of fans. Guinness offers gift sets full of Guinness merchandise, from iconic glasses to towels and bottle openers. When you have a high demand for your branded merchandise, you know you’ve made it!

Arthur Guinness, the man at the heart of the company, was born to servants in 1725. It is believed that his Father brewed beer for the master of the house. Arthur Guinness took his Father’s abilities of beer crafting to the next level when he started to brew beer at St. James Gate. After starting his company in 1759,  Arthur Guinness married Olivia Whitmore in 1761. Arthur and Olivia had twenty-one children, ten of which lived into adulthood. One of these children, Arthur Guinness II took over from his Father and later passed it on to his son, Benjamin.

It was under the direction of Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1862 that the famous Guinness logo was designed. The logo, which appears on this magnet, features the classic Irish harp, the Guinness name, and Arthur Guinness’ signature. Arthur Guinness only has one portrait, so he is immortalized not in an image, but in his signature, which graces every bottle of Guinness. Even after his death, Arthur is still part of the company he worked so hard to start.

Arthur Guinness learned his brewing skills from his Father and passed these skills onto his son, who passed the business onto his son. Born from family tradition, Guinness has become something to be enjoyed by any family, anywhere. In Irish pubs, communities gather to chat over pints of Classic Extra Stout. In America, Guinness can be purchased at a local grocery store and taken home to enjoy with your adult children. (Particularly when that adult child is missing her Irish community. Thanks, Dad!)

Is Guinness part of your family tradition? Do you have memories of Dad drinking the hardy stout while sitting outside in the evening, like I do? Biddy Murphy carries an array of certified products from Guinness, all of which make great Father’s Day gifts. Many of these items are already discounted, so you can get them at a reasonable price!

To make the deal even tastier, Biddy Murphy has a special offer for Father’s Day. If you use the code “STOUT” you can receive 20% off your order of any official Guinness merchandise. The deal ends on Father’s Day, June 17th, so use the code while it lasts! SHOP HERE! 

With a long and impressive history, Guinness makes you want to pop open the bottle cap to a cold one (perhaps using this wonderful Guinness bottle opener) and say “Slainte!”

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Owner & CEO Ward Gahan
A Little About Us is a global online retailer for beautifully handcrafted Celtic gifts. We work with a variety of Irish artisans to source authentic jewelry, clothing, and home goods that make unique Irish gifts for all occasions. Some of our best sellers include Celtic Crosses, Trinity Knot necklaces, Irish blessings for the home, and gorgeous wool Irish caps, aran knit sweaters, scarves and blankets. We offer free shipping site wide as well as free returns and easy exchanges.

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