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Happy 250th Anniversary Guinness

Submitted by on May 4, 2009 – 12:01 PMOne Comment
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In 1759, Arthur Guinness bravely signed a 9,000-year lease for an abandoned brewery in Dublin. Here he brewed the first batch of Guinness beer at St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. It was ten years later, on May 19th, 1769 when Arthur exported his first batch of ale to England. It wasn’t until 1778 that Arthur began selling dark beer porter and still 75 years until Guinness would be called a stout.

guinness250Guinness stout is made with barley, malt, hops, water, Brewer’s yeast and is treated with isinglass, made from fish’s bladders. (Note: Although Guinness claims no isinglass remains in the finished product, enjoying Guinness may be a no no for our vegan friends.) Some of the barley is steamed, rolled and roasted, which produces its famous dark color. While commonly called a black beer, Guinness stout is actually a deep ruby hue. And although referred to as a “meal in a glass” Guinness stout contains a mere 198 calories per pint.

Fast-forward for the sake of celebration to 2009, the 250th Anniversary celebration commemorates what begun as just ale and transformed into one of the world’s most popular  beers. Worldwide, 10 million glasses of Guinness are enjoyed daily in over 150 countries. But in the United States, Guinness Original, also called Guinness Extra Stout, has been the only Guinness available…until now.

To commemorate their quarter century birthday celebration, the Master Brewer has crafted a stout, ale malt mixture and smartly named it Guinness 250.  Normally, I’m weary of bottled or canned Guinness partially because the art of the Guinness pour makes it extra special. But on April 24th, I headed to Whole Foods to try the limited time anniversary brew.

A heeding for Guinness lovers galore, the anniversary edition is bottled, therefore carbonated, and unable to fully fill your pint glass.  This alone is likely to make the 250 a disappointing experience from traditional Guinness gurus, but if you can change your brain’s Guinness schema, you’ll be in for a smooth finish. Guinness 250 does not pour with the same picturesque head as the original Guinness but does embody many of the same malty sweet creaminess.  Guinness 250 actually tastes a little more malty and lighter. Delicious. Some reviewers said it doesn’t compare to the original, but Guinness 250’s mission is to commemorate, not to compete.

While 250 may not be the “meal in a glass,” it retains the same antioxidants that make the original Guinness good for your heart. And the lighter anniversary version is wonderful for the steamy summer months ahead. For the next six months, pump your heart and soul full of 250 while it lasts. From Bier Magazine to the geniuses at Guinness, Happy Anniversary!