Guinness is a type of (some say the textbook definition of) stout. Like a typical stout, it is dark in colour, almost black and has a mildly bitter mellow taste. The creamy head that is commonly associated with a pull off the tap can be approximated using patented "widget" technology in cans. When pulling a pint off of a tap, it is customary to fill the glass roughly 2/3 to 3/4 full and let it sit before pulling the head.
Contrary to popular belief, Guinness may taste heavy, but actually is very low in alcohol and has less calories per serving than Coors Light making it a perfect anytime drink. Another bit of trivia- It is law in Ireland that if a barkeep tips or spills the head of your Guinness, you are entitled to a fresh one.
"Two pints of Guinness, please"
"No, I will not trade you a Guinness for one of your Heinekens"
Arthur Guinness sadly died in 1799 but the company which he founded was stable, and continued to grow until and no doubt past today.
By 1833 the Guinness brewery was the biggest in Ireland, which is saying something. With the huge influx in Irish emigration to the United States global demands grew, leading to 1910 when it was first bottled in the United States. Irish emigration coupled with Irish drinking culture is also a key reason for American prohibition, but that’s another story.
The commonly associated harp logo wasn’t introduced until 1862, which continues to be a symbol of not only Guinness but Ireland.
By 1914 over 17.5million pints of Guinness were being exported annually. Leading 1929 when Guinness where the first ever British advertisement. And Guinness are still well known for their pioneering advertisements, such as the horses/wave/Ahab.
The Irish culture which was sparked by Guinness can be seen as a major reason for why there was over 1,500 Irish theme bars by 1995 and 2,500 by 1997. in 2001 over a million pints of Guinness were sold a day in Great Britain alone.
The latest chapter in the Guinness story would be the closing of the Park Royal Brewery last year (2004) which for those in the UK means all our Guinness is now made with the filtered water of St James Gate giving a creamier and smoother taste, amen.
Guinness also started the Guinness Book of Records after an argument in a pub in 1955. It was sold to Gullane Entertainment in 1997 but they kept the name.