10 facts you (probably) didn't know about Guinness

Synonymous with St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, Guinness is one of the world's most popular drinks.

Published 11th Mar 2024
Updated 11 th Mar 2024

If you're looking to enjoy a pint of Guinness for St Patrick's Day or beyond, then here are ten facts about the famous stout that you (probably) didn't know.

10 facts you (probably) didn’t know about Guinness:

1. Guinness exceptionally smooth taste can be attributed to the 300,000,000 bubbles in every pint.

Guinness’ yeast is so precious there's a reserve amount kept locked away, just in case anything should happen to the main supply.

2. The perfect pint of Guinness takes exactly 119.5 seconds to pour.

3. A third of all pints of beer sold in Ireland are Guinness.

4. Guinness is actually ruby-red and not black as people often assume, this is due to the roasting of the malted barley which happens at exactly 232 degrees Celsius.

Picture: widmatt/Flickr

5. It's actually the nitrogen that causes the tight white creamy head

The creamy white head found on Guinness is created from the 'initiation' and 'surging' of bubbles of nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas as the beer is poured.

6. Guinness quality experts recommend to chill Guinness to 6 degrees Celsius for optimum taste

This might be news to those that think Guinness should be served at room temperature.

7. The top 10 countries for Guinness by volume are: Great Britain, followed by Ireland, United States of America, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Jamaica, Indonesia and Malaysia

Surprisingly, it's not Ireland that takes the top spot.

8. Guinness has many fans across Africa with Guinness Extra Foreign Stout very popular, while in the UK Guinness Draught is the no.1 choice

The non alcoholic version of Guinness, Guinness Zero is performing well though, with production almost tripling in response to a growing consumer taste for non-alcoholic drinks.

9. Guinness has had an experimental brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin for over 100 years.

Today this is called the “Gunness Open Gate Brewery” and located within the building is a taproom bar where people can come and try exciting new craft beers before anyone else.

Picture: Guinness

10. Guinness is brewed in over 50 countries around the world and sold in over 120 countries

One of St. James’s Gate’s most experienced brewers, Barry Wylie, said: “I’m lucky enough to be following in the footsteps of generations of brewers who have proudly brewed Guinness at St. James’s Gate since 1759.


"Everybody in the brewery looks forward to St. Patrick’s Day, when millions of people around the world will enjoy the fruits of our labour and raise a toast with a glass of Guinness. We’ll be raising a toast to them too, here in Dublin.”

Charles Ireland, general manager for Diageo GB and Ireland, said: “Guinness has a long and rich heritage yet is constantly innovating to produce fantastic beers to suit a range of tastes and occasions. We are proud to continue to perfect this iconic beer and know it will be raised in toasts at St Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world.”

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Available in 120 countries around the world, the connection between Guinness and St Patrick’s Day, stretches back to 1759 when Arthur Guinness took over an abandoned brewery in Dublin, Ireland, named St. James’s Gate.

He signed a 9,000-year lease for the brewery which in calendar 2017 produced 6.8 million hectolitres of beer (equivalent to 1.2 billion pints).

Guinness Storehouse, The Liberties, Dublin 8, Ireland
Guinness Storehouse, The Liberties, Dublin 8, Ireland, D08 VF8H
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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