There’s sure to be great craic on the Emerald Isle tonight (actually there probably has been all day). As anyone who’s been near an Irish pub today will no doubt testify, today is the 250th birthday of Ireland’s unofficial national drink, Guinness.
It all began when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on a rundown brewery in Dublin’s St James’s Gate with an annual rent of £45 and began brewing the now iconic stout.
Management of the brewery has been passed down through six generations of the Guinness family and it is now owned by Diageo since a merger in 1997.
Dublin is leading the party with Rory Guinness, a great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, raising a toast to his ancestor. Live music will play in the city’s pubs but ‘Arthur’s Day’ will be celebrated worldwide since Guinness is now brewed as far afield as America, Australia, the Far East and Africa.
For the perfect pint, timed at 119.5 seconds, Diageo recommends tilting the glass to 45 degrees and carefully pouring until three quarters full and leave to settle on the bar before filling to the brim.
So what are you waiting for? Irish or not, we should all pour a pint of the black stuff and raise a toast to Arthur Guinness. But if you have more than one, be careful you don’t make an eejit of yourself.