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  • Writer's pictureSean Tinney

Guinness: The Global Popularity (A Brief History)

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

The undeniable popularity of Guinness beers is felt throughout the world. What started as a regular ale in the 1700s eventually grew to become one of the most recognizable commercial brands in the world and history.

It may seem as if Guinness was destined to succeed from the very beginning. Arthur Guinness, the founder of the iconic namesake beer, signed the original brewery’s lease in 1759 – for 9,000 years. Before Guinness was a thought in the mind of the first-generation brewery owner, the building was his to operate for the next several centuries, all for just £45 a year.

The brewery eventually became the largest in the world. Today, St. James’s Gate Brewery is the largest producer of stout in the world, famous for Guinness Draught, the nitrogenated, rich, roasty, and creamy Irish Stout we all know and love.

Although Arthur Guinness started his brewing endeavors on the backs of popular styles–pale ales and ambers–at the time, it didn’t take long for the brewery to halt ale manufacturing to focus on what was known as “porter,” a style named after working-class individuals working on the ports around the region. This porter was the foundation for the exponential growth of the Guinness Brand.

In 1801, Guinness brewed its “West India Porter” for the first time. It’s still brewed today under the name Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. In the 1820s, Arthur Guinness II, who had taken over the brewery after the passing of his father, created another porter named “Extra Superior Porter” which would eventually be renamed Guinness Extra Stout, the same one brewed today.

The Guinness Brewery expanded in London when it built a location in Park Royal in 1936 and, through a string of advertising campaigns in the 1900s, turned the brand into a global household name.

Now, Guinness has a portfolio of acclaimed, historical beers that are eternally recognizable by the classic logo and distinct appearance of the beers. Products like Guinness Extra Stout, Guinness Draught, and Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee are all familiar brands throughout the world.

Bridge City Beverage has popular Guinness beers in stock, including:

  • Guinness Draught (Cans and bottles)

  • Guinness Extra Stout

  • Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

  • Guinness 0

Guinness Draught

Guinness Draught is the most popular style of Guinness in America. It has deep, dark notes of roasted coffee, a slight hop and malt bitterness, and a smooth mouthfeel from the nitrogen it’s brewed with. Draught clocks in at 4.2% ABV and is highly drinkable despite its pitch-black appearance. This is the Guinness you’re likely most familiar with.

Guinness Extra Stout

Extra Stout is a descendant of Extra Superior Porter, the beer first introduced to the world by Arthur Guinness II after taking over the family brewery. Extra Stout, like Draught, has roasted coffee flavors with a hint of extra bitterness. Guinness Extra Stout has a higher ABV than Draught at 5.6% and is not nitrogenated, leading to a sharper mouthfeel.

Guinness Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Guinness Nitro Cold Brew has all the exceptional flavors of Guinness Draught with added coffee notes. Nitrogenated cans introduce a world of espresso, caramel, and chocolate notes upon the crack of the can and the pint glass-bound cascade of the brown-black Guinness. This Guinness beer sits at 4% ABV.

Guinness 0

Guinness 0 abounds with the same great taste as Guinness Draught but with zero alcohol. This non-alcoholic Guinness is the newest addition to the St James’s Gate Guinness portfolio and is a premium option for anyone looking to enjoy a pint of Guinness without the alcohol implications.

For questions about the availability of any Guinness products at Bridge City Beverage, give us a call or stop into the store any day of the week.


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