Does Guinness Really Taste Better in Dublin?

By: Elisha Burberry

Ireland is synonymous with Guinness, and many visitors to the country visit Dublin; not only to drink the famous stout, but also to visit where it is still made at the James's Gate Brewery in the heart of Dublin. Rumoured to taste better in its country of origin, a surprising number of tourists need to find out for themselves if this gossip holds water.

Guinness was developed by Arthur Guinness who began brewing the stout in 1759. Born in 1725 near Celbridge, Ireland, he most likely learned about brewing from an early age from his father, who worked as a land steward and brewed beer for the workers on the estate. Arthur became the god-son of the bishop of the estate and when he died, he left young Arthur ?100 in his will. With that money he started brewing in Leixlip, outside of Dublin. In 1759 he moved to the city to set-up on his own and thus Guinness was born.

The composition of Guinness is the same as all stouts and beers containing water, barley, malt, hops, and brewers yeast. The dark colour of Guinness is achieved from a portion of the barley that is flaked and roasted. The colour of Guinness is actually a dark ruby and not the black that many think. Another misconception that many have is that drinking a pint of Guinness is equivalent to eating a meal. On the contrary, a pint of the dark stuff only contains 198 calories - less than an equal portion of skimmed milk.

Guinness is brewed outside of Ireland in many countries around the world. However, added to the mixture is the unfermented but hopped Guinness wort extract which is exported from Dublin to be added to the local brew. The market for the sale of Guinness in Nigeria is actually the third fastest growing, and there they brew and sell Guinness Foreign Extra Stout which uses sorghum instead of barley. But there is not only one Guinness brew. There are many different varieties with distinct tastes and which ones you encounter depends highly on where you are in the world.

Guinness draught is the famous stout drawn from a tap in a pub. It can also be purchased worldwide in a can - complete with a widget that creates that perfect foam head. For true Guinness lovers a short city break to Dublin is a must in order to visit the original brewery.

Meanwhile, the newest possible member of the Guinness community, Guinness Red, began test-marketing in the UK but we have yet to see if it will be fully launched. However, if they do choose to begin large scale brewing of Guinness Red, the marketers are certain to come up with a grand new catchy campaign like we have seen in the past for Guinness. Guinness has a long history of award winning marketing campaigns and also sells a lot of Guinness promotional items like beer mats, caps and posters. Their newest campaign features the tagline "good things come to those who wait" which refers to the length of time it takes to pour a proper pint of Guinness.

Although Guinness is a huge draw to the 'Emerald Isle', the drink should be enjoyed in a pub where other aspects of pub culture - including food and traditional and modern Irish music - can be enjoyed. Many recipes also include Guinness as an ingredient such as meat pies and stews if you can't bear to ingest something without Guinness while in Ireland.

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