Today we raise a pint of the good old black stuff to the man himself–Arthur Guinness–whose full life came to a close on this day in 1803.
Arthur Guinness is the founder and creator of Guinness brewery, and though he did not create the dark stout that the company is now famous for, he was responsible for signing a 9,000 year lease, guaranteeing that the brewery would always have a place to operate in Dublin. This permanence allowed for funds to be allocated for experimentation and distribution and he made sure to do both. He was already a master brewer and his creations resulted in a decent porter coming to the city and a load of devoted ale drinkers. They called him Uncle Arthur for much of his life. He and his (poor) wife Olivia had 21 children, half of whom lived, but none of his descendants are directly involved in the brewery business at this time. Still, his signature flourishes can be seen on every can or bottle that the company produces and his legacy is honored in Ireland and around the world to this day.
A recent offering, the 1759, is a 750ml bottle of Guinness Ale–not Stout–that is based on recipes from that time. It is likely the closest we’ll get to Arthur’s own creations in this day and age. The brewery has been transformed into the number one tourist attraction in Dublin, and though visitors don’t get to see the inky stout being made, they do get the history of the brewery, a look at the longest lease ever, and one of the greatest views in Dublin. Today I’d like to personally thank Uncle Arthur for one of my favorite adult beverages on the planet, because even though it will never taste the same outside of Ireland, without him, it may never have reached our far shores at all.