Beer of the Week is sponsored by the Lion & Rose. Each week, we introduce you to a wonderful brew that’s a little bit different and well worth seeking out.
Guinness Stout needs no introduction. This beer has been enjoyed by folks from Ireland and around the world for more than 250 years. More than 10 million glasses of Guinness beers are poured every day.
But here are some facts about Guinness that you might not have known:
- The Guinness brewery was founded in 1759, when glasseArthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the property near St. James Game in Dublin. “It costs him an initial £100 (about $147 U.S. dollars) with an annual rent of £45 (about $66 U.S. dollars) — this includes crucial water rights,” the Guinness website says. “The brewery covers four acres and consists of a copper, a kieve, a mill, two malthouses, stabling for 12 horses and a loft to hold 200 tons of hay.” His first beers are porter and ale.
- Irish people come by their love of Guinness seemingly naturally. In Ireland, new mothers were once given Guinness to drink in the hospital to aid lactation.
- Guinness is not high in alcohol. Though the stout is hefty on the tongue, it’s not terribly loaded. Its alcohol level is 4.1 to 4.3 percent, which is in the average range of beers. A Busch beer, by example, has 5.11 percent alcohol, while Miller Genuine Draft has 5 percent and a Molson Golden has 6 percent. (For a list of alcohol levels of beers, click here.)
- Strict vegetarians should not drink Guinness. You won’t find any beef floating in your beer, but the makers do you isinglass, which is made from dead fish. This is used in filtration, and some may end up in the find product.
- Guinness in Ireland tastes differently from Guinness in America. Believe this all you want, but taste test after taste test shows that tasters cannot tell the difference in where the Guinness comes from. If you enjoyed it in Ireland more than here, it probably has more to do with the fact of where you were, who you were with or what you were eating with the beer. The Guinness website states it this way: “We always use pure, fresh water from natural local sources for the Guinness stout brewed outside Ireland. That said, in blind tests (with a bunch of highly cynical journalists) none of our sample could tell the difference between Irish-brewed Guinness and the locally produced variety. All the Guinness sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland.”
You can also cooked with Guinness. Here is a recipe for Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness Stout. (Use beef if you don’t have or like lamb, but don’t use any stout but Guinness.)