Guinness is Good For You!

January 30th, 2009

Guinness is Good For You

The Guinness draught. An Irish beer styled after the popular English Porters of the 1770s. Originally brewed with unmalted barley, in an attempt to avoid the tax on malted barley, Guinness was unique for its distinctively Irish characteristics, and also by virtue of the fact that it was the first Irish brew to be specifically defined by this distinction. With the great influx of Irish immigrants to America, throughout the entire 19th century, the Guinness brand of beers was an integral part of Irish cultural heritage in America. The recipe kept the brew separate from the imported Ale’s coming from England, Scotland, and Wales, and the purely Irish heritage of the Guinness family worked to cement the cultural meaning of the brand as a birthright belonging to all Irish people. The coming of the Irish to America included to coming of Guinness almost by default. Drink existed within the primary social ways of many cultures. In Ireland, where the Guinness brand gained the popularity to become nearly synonymous with the institution of drinking, it is easy to understand the influence of Guinness wherever there are Irishmen. Despite all of the prominence of Guinness among the Irish, and other beer drinkers around the world, it is still an alcoholic beverage. The development of many negative stereotypes surrounding Irish Americans centered on the concept that their fervent love of the beer in many ways was responsible for their degenerate behavior and substandard culture as a whole.

Throughout the 19th century Guinness was still owned and operated by the Guinness family, specifically the sons and grandsons of the founding brewer Arthur Guinness. Arthur was in turn succeeded by his son Arthur Guinness II in 1803, and Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1850, and finally by Edward Cecil in 1868 through the end of the century. Brewed from St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin beginning in 1759 and continuing throughout the modern day, the specifically secret recipe features many essentially Irish ingredients including Irish grown barley. The stout beer quickly gained worldwide renown and by the 1817 it was being imported to America, while it had already earned distinction as the most popular beer in Ireland, and eventually the world. Subsequently the mass importation of Guinness to America, as well as other parts of the globe, began in the 1840s at the onset of the Irish Potato Famine and therefore the mass exodus of Irishmen out of Ireland.

In addition to being the largest and most popular brewery from Ireland, Guinness has set the standards for many hallmarks of the nation in the development of their beer making over the centuries. As a trademark Guinness employs the harp of Brian Boru, however it is positioned towards the left instead of the right, as in the Irish coat of arms. The beer itself continues to be brewed Dublin as well as in 140 countries worldwide. Adding to the popularity, earmarked in this advertisement, was the concept that Guinness was nutritionally sound, although the manufactures now deny any claims to the medical properties of Guinness.

Guinness Family

Guinness Family

Guinness is Good For You: The Guinness Family of Beers

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