Historic Beer Birthday: Arthur Guinness II

guinness-new
Though his father’s birthdate is uncertain, today is definitely the birthday of Arthur Guinness II (March 12, 1768-June 9, 1855).

Arthur_Guinness_II

Here’s his story, from Wikipedia:

Arthur was the second son of Arthur Guinness and his wife Olivia Whitmore, and was born at their home at Beaumont House (now a part of Beaumont Hospital, Dublin). He attended White’s Academy in Grafton Street, Dublin, (now the site of Bewley’s). Arthur started working for his father at the St James’s Gate brewery from the 1780s. In 1790 his father, then aged 65, commented in a letter that the expansion of his brewery was partly due to his help:

“..one of my sons is grown up to be able to assist me in this Business, or I wd not have attempted it, tho’ prompted by a demand of providing for Ten Children now living out of one & twenty born to us, & more likely yet to come.”

On his marriage to Anne Lee in 1793 the lease of the brewery was assigned to their marriage settlement, proof that he was intended to take over the management of the brewery on his father’s death. At the time his younger brothers Benjamin (d.1826) and William (d.1842) were also working in the brewery.

In 1782 his father had also founded the “Hibernian Mills” beside the River Camac in Kilmainham to mill flour for the expanding city’s population. This was due to the expansion of Irish exports and commerce fostered from 1779 by the Irish Patriot Party, which the Guinnesses supported.

1803-guinness-II

On his father’s death in January 1803, he and his brothers Benjamin and William Lunell created a partnership trading as: “A. B. & W.L. Guinness & Co, brewers and flour millers”. He bought Beaumont House from his elder brother the Revd. Hosea Guinness, who was Rector of St. Werburgh’s Church, Dublin. In 1808 they bought their first steam engine from Boulton and Watt for pumping water.

Sales grew from 360,936 gallons in 1800 to 2,133,504 gallons by 1815. A slump followed, with sales dropping from 66,000 barrels to 27,000 by 1820.

From its rebuilding in 1797–99 the brewery had stopped brewing ale and concentrated on porter. From the 1820s enhanced and stronger varieties of porter known as “Extra Superior Porter” or “Double Stout” were developed in Dublin for the export trade to Britain. By 1837 the young Benjamin Disraeli mentioned that he had: “.. supped at the Carlton.. off oysters, Guinness and broiled bones”.

In the background Arthur’s brewery benefited hugely until the 1830s from the difference between the malt tax levied in Britain and Ireland, easing his higher-value exports to Britain, and so Arthur became more of a supporter of the union as it was in the 1830s, having been a supporter of Grattan’s form of home rule in his youth.

In 1839 Guinness assisted his nephew John in establishing a short-lived brewery in Bristol.

By his death in 1855, St James’s Gate was brewing and selling 78,000 hogsheads annually, equivalent to 4,212,000 gallons. Of these, 42,000 hogsheads were exported, mainly to the British market.

arthur-guinness-ii-photo

Historic Beer Birthday: Arthur Guinness

guinness-new
Today might be, though it probably isn’t, the birthday of Arthur Guinness (March 12, 1724-January 23, 1803). But this is as good a day as any, and in some ways better than many others have suggested. I’ve been collecting holidays, dates, birthdays, etc. since the late 1970s. I bought a cocktail paperback book and in the back, one of the appendices had four reasons to drink for every day of the year. Intrigued, I bought a thin diary and started writing them down as I came across new ones. When I outgrew that one, I bought a bigger one and hand-copied all of them from one to the other. Thank goodness computers came along so I didn’t have to keep that up. To save space, everything was color-coded and I never noted the original source, primarily because in those early days it was just something goofy I did for myself and I didn’t envision any practical application for such a list. Silly rabbit. Fast forward thirty years and the first website I set up, in 1998, was The Daily Globe, which was to house my collection of dates, among other things. It was then it became apparent that having the original sources would have been useful, but the damage was done. At some point I stumbled on the birthdate of Arthur Guinness, given as a day in September. Several years ago, after the Bulletin started, I ran my daily list as a matter of course on the date I had for Arthur Guinness’ birthdate, and got called out by the Beer Nut for the source of the date. Of course, I had not been keeping them but have always taken the position that it’s better to celebrate the person’s life even if you don’t have the exact right date than ignore them entirely. I’m pretty sure that, and for a couple of other reasons to do with my lack of vigorous research in matters of ephemera (a misquoted Simpsons line caused great consternation), is why he doesn’t much care for me. C’est la vie.

Eventually, I got around to trying to find that earlier source, and in the process opened a can of worms. That September date is more than likely wrong, of course, and was simply made up in 1991 by the Guinness company “apparently to end speculation about his birthdate,” as if that would do any good. That’s probably where I got the date, but since I didn’t keep my sources, who knows? In 2009, Guinness decided to declare September 24 “Arthur’s Day” further muddying the waters. The first year was to mark the 250th anniversary of Guinness, but in subsequent years it became a music festival and opportunity to do a worldwide toast to promote the beer. They kept up that farce on the 3rd Thursday in September each year until 2013, but cancelled it in 2014. So clearly September is a dead end.

In 2012, my favorite British beer historian, Martyn Cornell, weighed in on Guinness myths and scandals, including the date of his birth.

Arthur Guinness was born in 1725 in Celbridge, County Kildare.” The Dictionary of Irish Biography claims he was born on March 12, 1725. However, that does not match the statement on Arthur Guinness’s grave in Oughterard, Kildare that he died on January 23, 1803 “aged 78 years”, from which it can be inferred that his birthday must have been between January 24, 1724 and January 23, 1725. The most accurate statement, therefore is that his date of birth is unknown, but he was born 1724/5.

Here’s his gravestone:

Guinness-gravestone

So if March 12, 1725 can’t be correct, but it must be “between January 24, 1724 and January 23, 1725,” then maybe it was 1724. So for no better reason than it fits the span of dates, maybe The Dictionary of Irish Biography simply got the year wrong by one. Maybe not, but I like having a date to hang my hat on. So until I find something more compelling, and merely for the purposes of commemoration, I’ll toast Arthur Guinness on March 12.

Arthur Guinness, of course, founded the Guinness Brewery in 1759, famously signing a 9,000-year lease for the St. James’ Gate property in Dublin. Shortly afterwards, in 1761, “he married Olivia Whitmore in St. Mary’s Church, Dublin, and they had 21 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood.”

Arthur_Guinness

The Colson Center, a Christian website, has a short biography:

Arthur Guinness was born to a family of brewers on the estate of Arthur Price, the Protestant Church of Ireland archbishop of Cashel. Arthur’s father Richard was Dr. Price’s brewer, and was known for his particularly fine porter beer. He taught Arthur the craft of brewing.

Arthur must have been a particular favorite of Dr. Price, because on the archbishop’s death in 1752 he bequeathed to Arthur the sum of £100, the equivalent of four years wages. Over the following three years, he perfected his skills as the brewer for an inn owned by his stepmother. In 1755, he struck out his own, purchasing a small brewery in the village of Leixlip. He may have seen brewing beer as a service to the community: this was the era in which gin was devastating poor communities and beer provided a far healthier and less intoxicating alternative.

In 1759, Arthur moved to Dublin. There he found an abandoned brewery at St. James’ Gate, for rent for £100 down and £45 per year. Arthur somehow managed to get the owner to agree to a lease for up to 9,000 years on these terms, and so Arthur opened his new brewery in Dublin.

Arthur was a very dedicated member of the Church of Ireland. In Dublin, he attended a church in which John Wesley preached, and Wesley’s ideas about hard work, the goodness and responsibilities of wealth, and the importance of caring for the poor had a powerful impact on Arthur’s faith.

As a result, Arthur became involved in a variety of social welfare organizations. He was on the board and became governor of Meath hospital and was dedicated to ensuring that it provided care for the poor. He also gave to a number of charities, promoted Gaelic arts to encourage pride in the Irish heritage, and joined the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick, an organization dedicated to ending the practice of dueling.

arthur-guinness-photo

He was also a champion of the Sunday School movement in Ireland, which provided basic education to children. For Arthur, this was part of an interest in prison reform: he believed that education combined with Biblical teaching would keep people from falling into a life of crime.

Even though a dedicated Protestant in a community that looked down at Roman Catholics, Guinness advocated for the rights of Catholics and treated them well at his brewery. This may have cost him business, but he believed it was the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, Guinness continued to develop and improve as a brewer. In 1779, he was named official brewer of Dublin Castle. At this point, he was brewing ales as well as a variety of dark porters.

Gradually, though, he decided to specialize in porter; he finally gave up brewing ale in 1799. Porter was very popular in England, and when Arthur and his fellow Irish brewers finally figured out how to produce a good quality black porter (stout), specializing in this kind of beer made sense. Soon Guinness’s porter was in demand not only in Dublin but increasingly in England as well.

Arthur died just a few years later, in 1803. But his story does not end there. Over the next century, Guinness grew to be one of the largest and most respected breweries in the world. That story is a tribute to Arthur’s hard work and insistence on excellence, qualities which he passed on to his children and heirs. But that is only part of the Guinness story. The other part is the amount of good Guinness has done for its employees and their families and for Dublin, all of which is also part of Arthur’s legacy.

Arthur Guinness Stamp

And here’s another bio:

The Guinness story began in a small Irish village Celbridge, which was the home of Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel with a sufficient security. Arthur was one of those people who did not want to burden himself with a daily routine, and therefore he had hired Arthur Guinness (1724 or 1725 – January 23, 1803), a manager for all the cases. As time passed a very real friendship ensued between them to the point that Price baptized Arthur’s son Arthur Guinness II, born on March 12, 1768, who helped his father since childhood on the farm of the generous employer.

In his spare time, Arthur Guinness brewed real ale. Dr. Price had a benefit of all necessary equipment at his basement for this. In 1752, Arthur Price died. Such a tragic event, however, marked the beginning of Guinness brewing company’s story. The thing is that Arthur Price left a legacy of 100 pounds to both of them: Arthur Guinness and his son (at the time it was quite a large sum of money).

Guinness story began in a small Irish village Celbridge, which was the home of Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel with a sufficient security. Arthur was one of those people who did not want to burden himself with a daily routine, and therefore he had hired Arthur Guinness (1724 or 1725 – January 23, 1803), a manager for all the cases. As time passed a very real friendship ensued between them to the point that Price baptized Arthur’s son Arthur Guinness II, born on March 12, 1768, who helped his father since childhood on the farm of the generous employer.

In his spare time, Arthur Guinness brewed real ale. Dr. Price had a benefit of all necessary equipment at his basement for this. In 1752, Arthur Price died. Such a tragic event, however, marked the beginning of Guinness brewing company’s story. The thing is that Arthur Price left a legacy of 100 pounds to both of them: Arthur Guinness and his son (at the time it was quite a large sum of money).

However, all this time, Arthur continued to produce the same ale. Arthur Guinness started producing the dark beer only in 1799. The production of the dark beer with creamy foam originated in 1799 that further made the company one of the symbols of Ireland. Four years later after this momentous event, at age of 78, Arthur Guinness died. As a legacy to their children businessman left 25,000 pounds, which by today’s standards would amount to about 865,000 pounds.

Guinness-painting

Beer In Film #99: Beoir, A Tale of Ireland’s Craft Ale

brookston-film
Today’s beer film is trailer for Beoir: A Tale of Irelands Craft Ale which looks like it could be a very interesting, cool film about Ireland’s growing craft beer scene. Here’s the description of the film:

Beoir, (the Irish word for beer), is a short film about the emerging Irish craft brewery scene, showcasing The Donegal brewing company, Innishmacsaint brewing company, Mescan brewing company, Kinnegar brewing company and Poker Tree brewing company. These new mainly farmhouse breweries are based on the wonderful green island of Ireland. This film showcases not only the breweries but the Island of Ireland itself. Listen to the brewers tell their story in their own words and follow them on their journey at the very start of this emerging craft brewing scene in Ireland. From under Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick to the lakes of Fermanagh, Beoir is a fascinating and beautifully shot film.

A Glance At St. Patrick’s Day Libations

ireland
Today’s infographic is entitled A Glance At St. Patrick’s Day Libations, and while it’s not Saint Patrick’s Day, it is the day in 1922 when Irish independence was recognized (having been declared April 24, 1916). Hey, cut me some slack, I’m filling in holes. It was created by Patrick DePuy for the holiday earlier this year for Prime Social Marketing.

St.-Patricks-day-beer-infographic2
Click here to see the infographic full size.

Beer In Ads #969: A Great Irish Name …


Wednesday’s ad is for “A Great Irish Name … Guinness.” I believe the ad is from the mid-1950s and is for Guinness Ale – Beer, a pair of brands they no longer make, though when exactly they discontinued them, I’m not sure. The ad shows the bottle for Guinness Brite Lager Beer full, and the Guinness Brite Ale being poured into a glass, though I don’t recall either of them, so perhaps they were already gone when my drinking days begin in the 1970s.

guinness-lager

Drink Like The Irish

stpatrick
Today’s infographic is from NerdWallet, and is part of a story on St. Patrick’s Day trends in how people are celebrating this year. In Study: Consumers Can Save $2.6 Billion By Avoiding Pubs and Sticking to House Parties This St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not sure if I’m convinced, although I’ve avoided going out for St. Patrick’s Day for years. Still, some interesting bits of information.

stpat-infog
Click here to see the infographic full size.

Ireland Beer

ireland
Today in 1921, Ireland gained their Independence by treaty with the United Kingdom.

Ireland
ireland-color

Ireland Breweries

Ireland Brewery Guides

Other Guides

Guild: Irish Brewers Association; Beoir (consumer group)

National Regulatory Agency: Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Follows Eu Regulations

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.05% [Note: 0.05% generally or 0.02% for learner drivers, newly qualified drivers (those who have their license for less than two years) and professional drivers, and those who do not have their driving license on them when stopped by the Gardaí (police). Police do not need a reason to request a breath sample. Being convicted of drunk driving usually carries a 2 year ban as well as a €1500 fine.]

ireland

  • Full Name: Ireland (Eire)
  • Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
  • Government Type: Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Language: English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
  • Religion(s): Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2%
  • Capital: Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)
  • Population: 4,722,028; 119th
  • Area: 70,273 sq km, 120th
  • Comparative Area: Slightly larger than West Virginia
  • National Food: Colcannon, Irish Stew
  • National Symbol: Irish Wolfhound, Irish Setter, Irish Elk; Shamrock; Sessile Oak; Celtic harp called a cláirseach (official), harp on coat of arms etc. (official), Celtic Cross; Harp
  • Affiliations: UN, EU
  • Independence: By treaty from the UK, December 6, 1921 / Declared, April 24, 1916 / Ratified, January 21, 1919

ireland-coa

  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: 18 [Note: It is illegal for minors to buy alcohol, to attempt to buy it for minors or to consume alcohol in a public space in Ireland. Those under 18 may consume alcohol in a private residence when permission is given from a parent or guardian. It is illegal to purchase alcohol for anybody under the age of consent without permission from their guardians. Alcohol can be sold in stores only between 10:30 and 22:00 on weekdays and Saturdays or 12:30 and 22:00 on Sundays.]
  • BAC: 0.08%
  • Number of Breweries: 20

ireland-money-2

  • How to Say “Beer”: beoir / leann (lionn)
  • How to Order a Beer: Byohr awoyn, lyeh doh hull
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Sláinte / Guid forder! (“good luck”) [Ulster-Scots]
  • Toasting Etiquette: Common Toasts

ireland-map

Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 53%
  • Wine: 20%
  • Spirits: 19%
  • Other: 8%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 13.39
  • Unrecorded: 1.00
  • Total: 14.39
  • Beer: 7.04

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 13.4 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Stable
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Sales Restrictions: Places, intoxicated persons
  • Advertising Restrictions: Some
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Some (sales promotions)

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: None

ireland-eu

Beer In Art #161: William Harnett’s Materials For A Leisure Hour

art-beer
Today’s work of art is by the Irish-born artist William Michael Harnett known for his Trompe-l’œil still life paintings.

As Laurien Gilbert explains:

William Harnett emigrated from Ireland to the US during the potato famine. Working as an engraver during the day, he took night classes at art schools in Philadelphia and New York…evidently to great effect! His still lifes fall under the heading of American Realism. While he did paint the obligatory musical instruments, tankards, and hanging game, it was his interest in the unusual (horseshoes, books, bills), and the trompe l’oeil precision of his renderings, that made him special.

This painting, Materials For A Leisure Hour, was painted in 1879 and today hangs in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. And how could the materials for an hour of leisure not include a bottle of beer and a tankard for your beer.

Harnett-materials-for-leisure-hour

To learn more about Michael Harnett, check out his biography on Wikipedia or Encyclopedia Britannica. You can also see more of his works on Athenaeum
ArtCyclopedia and the Artchive and WikiMedia.

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout Finally Coming To U.S.

guinness-white
At long last, Diageo has announced that Guinness Foreign Extra Stout will be returning to the United States. Discontinued after Prohibition in 1920, it’s been 90 years since it was legally available here. Thanks to Beer Advocate for the tip.

From the press release:

Tuesday, September 28th is National Drink Beer Day! As if you didn’t already have reason to raise a pint, GUINNESS Irish Stout is proud to announce its U.S. launch of GUINNESS Foreign Extra Stout (FES) on October 1st. The fullest in flavor of the GUINNESS brand variants, GUINNESS FES is carbonated unlike the nitrogenated GUINNESS Draught with which most Americans are familiar. The specialty beer is 7.5% ABV and possesses strong, roasted aromas followed by a unique bittersweet taste. Foreign Extra Stout is already a favorite of many around the world, making up 45% of GUINNESS sales globally, and is sure to be a favorite of beer aficionados here in the U.S.

GUINNESS Foreign Extra Stout (FES) is brewed with the highest hop rate of all the GUINNESS variants. The generous hop additions express fully the beers distinctive character and flavor while also prolonging shelf life in warmer climates, as hops are the best natural preservative for beer. GUINNESS FES is uniquely different from GUINNESS Draught both in taste profile, color and ritual.

Brewed for more than two centuries, GUINNESS FES dates back to 1801. Known as West India Porter until the mid nineteenth century, FES was an export beer brewed with extra hops, giving the beer a more intense flavor and higher alcohol strength. The extra hops also acts as a natural preservative for beer, allowing it to survive long journeys overseas.

It’s nice to see a good decision by Diageo on behalf of the Guinness brand instead of gimmicks like Guinness Extra Cold or Guinness Red.

guinness-foreign-extra-stout