Guinness is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of Ireland, well-earned thanks to being the most popular alcoholic beverage in countries all over the world (10 million pints sold each day). Launched in Dublin, Ireland by Arthur Guinness in 1759, it remains a beloved part of Celtic life and heritage.
Today Guinness is exported to more than 120 countries, helping the ruby red drink to become an integral part of communities worldwide. This offered a unique opportunity for the company, which began producing flavor and styles of stout and ale that better reflected the region it’s sold in. There are also international breweries to help create the various flavors: one in Canada and a few in Africa, where 40% of all Guinness is sold- thanks to colonial history and a successful multi-century marketing campaign!
So what are some of the different Guinness versions? Sold worldwide are the classics: Guinness Draught, and Guinness Original/Extra Stout. One popular style which remains elusive in the U.S. and Canada is the sour Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (production strength varies in the region it’s sold; it was once known as West Indies Porter). Other U.K. varieties include Guinness Special Export Stout and Guinness Bitter, while Africans enjoy Guinness Extra Smooth and Malta Guinness. New styles include Guinness Red Harvest Stout, Guinness Blonde, and new craft beers Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter. Also we can’t forget to mention the many products beyond drinks that incorporate the Guinness flavor, including sauces and desserts- two of the bigger partnerships are with Heinz and Kraft.
Of course experiments, celebrations and changing palates have helped see many styles come and go (some may still be found in stores). Among those no longer brewed include are 250 Anniversary Stout, Guinness Mid-Strength, Guinness Breó , Guinness Light, Guinness Black Lager, Guinness Cream Stout, St. James’s Gate craft beers, and the Brewhouse series of: Brew 3, Toucan Brew and North Star. It will be interesting to see how the flavors evolve in the future!
Of course no matter the distance of the breweries, nothing is truly Guinness without a key ingredient of the beer, Guinness Essence, which is only produced in Ireland and shipped to their breweries. This ensures every batch still has the most important thing: a ‘touch of Dublin’.