Eight Refreshing Facts About Guinness Stout

Guinness is actually red.

If your typical setting for drinking Guinness is a dimly lit Irish bar, you may not have noticed that Guinness is actually a dark ruby red. The rich color comes from roasted malted barley (which is a similar way coffee beans are roasted).

That small ball in your Guinness can beat out the internet for a technology award.

If you’re an astute drinker, you may have wondered why there is a small, ping-pong-like ball in the bottom of your can of Guinness. No, the manufacturers weren’t playing beer pong when they sealed up your can. It’s actually a Guinness widget that’s working hard to replicate the draught experience in a can.When a Guinness can is popped open, a small amount of beer and nitrogen, which is trapped in the widget, is forced out to create the famous creamy head that you’d expect if your Guinness was poured for you from a tap. The invention is actually very noteworthy: The widget won the Queen’s Award for Technology in 1991‚ÄĒbeating out the internet!

Doctors used to prescribe Guinness to patients.

Back in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, advertisers purported that “Guinness is good for you” when marketing this delectable stout. Although this slogan has changed over time and today Diageo, the beverage company that currently owns Guinness, does not make any health claims pertaining to the benefits of this beer, there was a point in history when medical professionals in the UK believed Guinness was a highly nutrient-dense beverage. In fact, doctors would advise pregnant women to imbibe Guinness based on the belief that this dark, heavy beer was an effective way to supply the body with iron, a mineral that expecting mothers require 50% more of than others who are not pregnant. The drink would also be prescribed to post-op patients based on the misconception that Guinness could help restore iron levels.

Guinness may benefit your gut and heart health.

While in actuality this creamy ale contains barely a trace of iron, research suggests that this beer contains large amounts of antioxidants that can help fend off free radicals, B vitamins, prebiotics, and even contains soluble fiber. One 2003 study, which was presented that year at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association even found that a single pint of Guinness could potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular incidences. But it is not safe for pregnant women to drink.

Three of Guinness’ five breweries are in Africa.

It wouldn’t shock you to learn that Great Britain is where the most Guinness is consumed, but it might surprise you to know that two of the top five Guinness-consuming countries are Nigeria and Cameroon. That’s because Guinness owns five breweries around the world, and they are in Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon.

Pouring a Guinness beer is a six-step art form that involves a one-minute-59.5-second break.

The proper Guinness pouring process begins with a cool, dry glass. You want to hold the glass at a 45-degree angle beneath the tap’s spout. Pull the handle forward and let the stout flow, filling it up until you reach .75 inches below the top of the glass. Let it settle for precisely 119.5 seconds. Bring the glass to a 45-degree angle again, but push the handle backward¬†this time until the head is “just proud of the glass.” Don’t let it overflow, and “never use a spatula to level the head.” That’s just blasphemy!

‘The Guinness Book of World Records’ was inspired by an argument in a pub.

Yes, Guinness, the beer is connected to Guinness World Records: “the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements.” In 1951, the managing director of Dublin’s Guinness brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, had a pub argument about the fastest game bird in the U.K. The conversation prompted the idea of a¬†reference book about all the “superlatives” debated in pubs. A few years later, the first Guinness Book of World Records was published in 1954.

The original Guinness brewery’s lease runs out in the year 10,759.

In 1759, Guinness’ founding father, Arthur Guinness, agreed to rent an unused brewery at St. James’s Gate, signing a¬†9,000-year lease for four acres. The annual rent was ¬£45, which is about $60 U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, the lease was nullified after Guinness bought the property outright and expanded to a 50-acre brewery. But “don’t worry, we’re not planning on going anywhere,” the¬†Guinness website jokes. The original lease is still in the archives at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.