A Closer Look into Guinness Beer
When you ask for a pint in any bar in Ireland, more often than not you will be given a pint of Guinness. The beer is considered as the symbol of Ireland. And it is not a surprise that Guinness beer is the most popular drink in the country.
What is Guinness?
Guinness is an Irish dry stout that came from the brewery of Arthur Guinness in Dublin. He began brewing ales in 1759. The first Guinness brewery was the St. James’ Gate Brewery. During the early years, there were three variants of the single beer type. These were porter, double, and foreign stout. During those times, the term stout referred to the strength of the beer. But in later years, it pertained to the color and body.
The Guinness Harp is the logo of the brand. For years, the harp has been the symbol off Ireland. And to distinguish the logo from the country’s coat of arms, the Guinness Harp is facing the right.
Composition of Guinness Stout
Guinness Stout is composed of barley, water, roast malt extract, brewer’s yeast, and hops. Part of the barley is roasted to give it its dark color and distinctive taste. Even if it is known as a meal in a glass, Guinness beer calories is just 198 kcal per pint. This is slightly lower in calorie content compared to orange juice, skimmed milk, and majority of non-light beers.
Guinness factory also produces draught and canned versions of the beer. These variants contain nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The former is less soluble than the latter, which allows Guinness beer to be placed under high pressure without making the beer fizzy. The pressurized dissolve gas is needed to allow small bubbles to form by forcing the draught beer to go through fine holes found in the tap. Draught beer is said to be smoother because it has less carbon dioxide content. The original Guinness Extra Stout contains carbon dioxide only, which gives it an acidic taste.
Guinness Alcohol Percentage
When it comes to Guinness alcohol content, each variety has different strengths. Draughts have 4.1 percent to 4.3 percent alcohol by volume. Guinness Extra Stout has 4.2 or 4.3 percent ABV in Ireland and other countries in Europe. Keep in mind that Guinness ABV can differ from one country to another.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is made from unfermented but hopped wort from the Guinness brewery in Ireland. Then it is exported to its target country, where local ingredients are added. It is then fermented locally. The Guinness ABV various from 5 percent in China to as high as 8 percent in Singapore. The Guinness Special Export Stout was the first variety of the beer that was pasteurized. It was commissioned by John Martin of Belgium in 1912 and had 8 percent alcohol by volume.
Guinness Brewhouse Series
In October of 2005, Guinness announced that they will be releasing a limited edition draught stouts collection called Brewhouse Series. There were three variants in the series and were only available for six months.
The first one was the Brew 39 that was only available in Dublin from late 2005 to 2006. It had the same alcohol by volume of draught. It was made in the Guinness breweries using the same formulate, but it had a lighter taste.
Guinness Toucan Brew was launched in May of 2006 and named after the toucan that was part of the ads for the company. It had a crisper taste with sweet aftertaste that was caused by the triple hop process.
In 2010, Guinness started marketing Guinness Black Lager. They were made available in Northern Ireland, US and Malaysia. It had 4.5 percent alcohol by volume and got its color from the roasted barley that was added into it. The Guinness Lager is currently sold in Canada, Australia, US, and Ireland.
Lastly, there’s the North Star, which was introduced in the market on October 2006, and was available until late the following year. There was supposed to be a fourth variant of the Brewhouse Series but Guinness quietly cancelled the collection.
The Guinness family of beers continue to grow each year, as it tries to brew beers based on the preferences of the local markets across the globe. The brand is brewed under license in various countries that include the Bahamas, Kenya, Indonesia, Canada, and Nigeria, just to name a few. Among the countries in the world, the UK consumes more Guinness than Ireland. Coming in third place is Nigeria and then the United States.
The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a popular tourist destination in Dublin. It is found at the first Guinness brewery and offers guided tours that show how the beer is made. There are three bars, a restaurant and a coffee shop in the premises.
Guinness is the best known Irish beer in the world and, as you can see, it has a rich history. It is now brewed in 49 countries and sold in more than thrice that number. It will be hard to visit a bar anywhere in the world that doesn’t have Guinness on tap. And it is all thanks to Arthur Guinness.