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Friday, March 16, 2012

Vintage Happy Hour with Jenny Q: Guinness Time, Lads & Lassies

I don't even need to tell you what it is. It's instantly recognized all over the world by its rich color, thick head, and the pint glass designed for it. It's Guinness, the icon of Irish beers, and the drink of choice for many St. Patrick's Day celebrants!

O Beer! O Hodgson, Guinness, Allsopp, Bass! Names that should be on every infant’s tongue. ~ C.V. Calverley, English Poet

Arthur Guinness began brewing ale in 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin. Over the centuries, Guinness acquired a stellar reputation and a steady following via nothing other than word of mouth. In fact, the company did not even begin to advertise until the early 1900s. But even their advertising campaigns took on iconic stature, and in the 1930s, Guinness became the seventh largest company in the world.

Vintage ads drawn by artist John Gilroy in the 1930s and '40s:

Guinness remains a pub staple to this day, and is an official sponsor of St. Patrick's Day celebrations worldwide. This year Guinness has launched a campaign to celebrate true Irish friendliness by making St. Patrick's Day the official Friendliest Day of the Year, with help from that other Guinness--the Book of World Records.

Not only is Guinness hugely popular on its own, it's also an ingredient in many other famous drinks, including:

Irish Car Bomb:  Guinness, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Jameson Irish Whiskey
Black and Tan:  Guinness and Bass
Half and Half:  Guiness and Harp
Flying Guinness:  Guinness and Red Bull
Highland Ghost:  Guinness, Cognac, and Cola

Guinness is also a popular culinary ingredient, featured in everything from appetizers to desserts. Why not try a new dish in honor of St. Patrick's Day? Check out this great site filled with Guinness recipes.

So go ahead and raise a pint to the Irish tonight, tomorrow, and if you're inclined, every day, to reap the health benefits drinking Guinness is purported to give you, and less scientifically, as this classic 1930s poster tells you.



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