Little Bits of History

Long Lease

Posted in History by patriciahysell on December 31, 2014
Arthur Guinness

Arthur Guinness

December 31, 1759: Arthur Guinness signs a lease. He was born in County Kildare, Ireland in 1725 and in 1752 his godfather bequeathed him £100. He invested the money and opened a brewery. He signed a 9,000 year lease for £45 per year on this day for the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. On May 19, 1769 he began exporting his ale when he shipped six and a half barrels to Great Britain. Throughout most of the history of the company, they have sold only three versions of a single beer type. They had on offer porter or single stout, double or extra, and foreign stout for export.

The beverage is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. Part of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its famous dark color and characteristic taste. It is both pasteurized and filtered. It has a reputation for being a “meal in a glass” but it contains only 198 calories which is less than found in skimmed milk or orange juice was well as other non-light beers. In the late 1950s or early 1960s, the traditional wooden casks were abandoned and Guinness was put into aluminum kegs which were jokingly called “iron lungs”. Some studies claimed Guinness was good for the heart and there were some antioxidant compounds found in the drink. There are no more antioxidants than found in certain fruits and vegetables.

The perfect pint of Guinness is achieved by a special technique called the double pour. This should take exactly 119.5 seconds – just short of two minutes. Since that is longer than other beers, they made a slogan “good things come to those who wait”. Even so, many people are unwilling to wait and so another option is available. Exactap is a beer dispenser owned in a trust by its American inventor and marketed via DigitalDispense USA LLC and can pour a prefect Guinness in just four seconds without overfilling. There are 600 of the dispensers in Dublin alone. The glass should be slightly tulip shaped and the beer is poured into a tilted glass until ¾ of the way full. Then the beer is forced through a restrictor plate to get the famous head of foam at the top of the glass holding the 42.8° F beverage.

Today, the beer is one of the most successful brands worldwide. It is brewed in almost 60 countries and is available in more than twice that many. They have an annual sales total of 1.8 billion US pints or 850 million liters. It is the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes nearly €2 billion annually. The company moved headquarters to London in 1932. They merged with Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and is now part of Diageo, a British based multinational alcoholic drinks producer. They are also the owners of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, and Baileys, so the brew is in good company.

My favorite food from my homeland is Guinness. My second choice in Guinness. My third choice – would have to be Guinness. – Peter O’Toole

I’m more of a Smithwick’s or Bulmer’s girl than a pint of Guinness. – Emily Ratajkowski

I’ve been watching what I eat. When I was putting on all the weight, I was drinking Guinness and not eating. I didn’t have room to because I was drinking all the time. – Robbie Williams

I admit I was drinking a Guinness… but I did not swallow. – Kinky Friedman

Also on this day: Dupont Plaza Hotel – In 1986, three unhappy employees set the hotel on fire.
Quarters – In 1960, the farthing was finished.
Longacre Square – In 1904, New Year’s Eve was celebrated in NYC.
Granted – In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted a Royal Charter.

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