St. James's Gate Brewery

St. James's Gate Brewery

Infobox Brewery
name = Guinness

caption = Logo of Guinness Ltd.
location = flagicon|Ireland Dublin, Ireland
owner = Diageo
opened = 1759
production = 82.9 million hectoliters, 50.7 million UK barrels
active_beers = brewbox_beer|name=Guinness draught stout|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Original/Extra Stout|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Foreign Extra Stout|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Foreign Extra Stout Nigeria|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Special Export Stout|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Bitter|style=Bitter brewbox_beer|name=Extra Smooth|style=Stout brewbox_beer|name=Malta Guinness|style=Non-alcoholic beer brewbox_beer|name=Mid-Strength|style=Stout
seasonal_beers =
other_beers =

St. James's Gate Brewery is a brewery in Dublin, known as the home of Guinness.

Leased for 9,000 years in 1759 by Arthur Guinness at £45 per year, St. James's Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and was the largest in the world in 1914. Although no longer the largest brewery in the world, it is still the largest brewer of stout in the world. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the brewery owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area, including many streets of housing for brewery employees, and offices associated with the brewery. The brewery also made all of its own power using its own power plant.

There is an attached exhibition on the 250-year-old history of Guinness, called the Guinness Storehouse.

History of ownership

The grandson of the original Arthur Guinness, Sir Benjamin Guinness, was Lord Mayor of Dublin and was created a baronet in 1867, only to die the next year. His eldest son Arthur, Baron Ardilaun (1840–1915), sold control of the brewery to Sir Benjamin's third son Edward (1847–1927), who became 1st Earl of Iveagh. Iveagh launched the company on the London Stock Exchange in 1886. Up until then the only other partners outside of the Guinness family, were members of the Purser family who helped run the brewery throughout most of the nineteenth century.

He, his son and great-grandson, the 2nd and 3rd Earls, chaired the Guinness company until the 3rd earl's death in 1992. To avoid paying taxes in Irish Free State, the company moved its headquarters to London in 1932. In 1983 a non-family chief executive Ernest Saunders was appointed and arranged the reverse take-over of the leading Scotch whisky producer Distillers in 1986. Saunders was then asked to resign following revelations that the Guinness stock price had probably been illegally manipulated (see Guinness share-trading fraud). As Distillers was worth more than Guinness plc, the Guinness family shareholding in the merged company went below 10%, and today no member of the family sits on the board. The company then merged with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo PLC, capitalised in 2006 at about 40 billion euro.

Possible move out of Dublin city centre

On 17 June 2007, The Sunday Independent first reported that Diageo was considering selling the St. James's Gate Brewery in order to take advantage of high property prices in Ireland. [cite web|url=|title=Last orders for Guinness time at St James's Gate|date=17 June 2007 |accessdate=2007-06-17 |author=Daniel McConnell] The story was widely picked up by both national and international media organisations.

On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James's Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations. [ [ Diageo keeps Dublin Guinness site, to build new one] ]



Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd. owns several breweries.

Great Northern Brewery

The Great Northern Brewery, Dundalk, Ireland, is the largest brewery in Ireland after St. James's Gate. The brewery has been in operation in the town since the early 1960s producing stout and ale for parent firm Arthur Guinness. In response to demand for a quality domestic lager, Guinness undertook a major investment programme, transforming the brewery into a modern lager operation. Working with German master brewer, Dr Hermann Muender, and local ingredients, Harp Lager was created.

Within 12 months of launch in 1960, Harp had become a household brand throughout Ireland. A year later it was launched nationwide in Britain. This success meant that the brewery’s capacity had to expand tenfold to meet demand.

Today, the brewery has extensive facilities and it produces and packs a collection of beers and ales, including Harp, Smithwick’s, Satzenbrau, Carlsberg and Warsteiner. Some 80 people are employed across a range of disciplines including production, supply, customer service, technical and quality control. [ [ Brewing in Dundalk – Diageo Ireland ] ]

However, in May 2008 Diageo announced that the brewery will close by 2013 as part of a wider consolidation project. [ [ Diageo keeps Dublin Guinness site, to build new one] ]


Smithwick's brewery, owned by Guinness, is in Kilkenny,Ireland. It was founded by John Smithwick in 1710 and is the major ale producer in Ireland. Within the grounds of the brewery are the ruins of a Franciscan abbey.

*"Smithwick's Draught" has a ruby red tone with a stable, but slightly thin head. Its texture is smooth and refined, with a bitter and complex finish. Although of lesser fame than Guinness, Smithwicks is often regarded as the 'local favourite' amongst Irish pubgoers. In 2004, Diageo PLC began distribution in the USA. Smithwick's had previously been marketed in Canada with great success.
*"Kilkenny Ale" is a similar beer to Smithwick's Draught, originally created for the export market as a name for Smithwick's but now a beer in its own right.

*The brewery also brews Budweiser and Carlsberg lagers under licence for the Irish market.

Along with The Great Northern Brewery, Dundalk, Diageo decided in May 2008 to close the Smithwick's plant by 2013. [ [ Diageo keeps Dublin Guinness site, to build new one] ]

Other brands

The Guinness brewery also makes other brands of alcoholic drinks, including Harp, Smithwick's, Cashels cider and Kilkenny. The company has a regional franchise (for Ireland) to produce Budweiser beer, as well as Carlsberg lager.

Withdrawn Guinness brands include Guinness's Brite Lager, Guinness's Brite Ale, Guinness Light, Guinness XXX Extra Strong Stout, Guinness Cream Stout, Guinness Gold, Guinness Pilsner, Guinness Shandy and Guinness Special Light. Other withdrawn beers produced by Guinness include Enigma Draught Lager and Breo White Beer as well as the St. James's Gate Beers: Pilsner Gold, Wicked Red Ale, Wildcat Wheat Beer and Dark Angel Lager.


Kaliber, a brand of non-alcoholic pale lager which is sold in the United Kingdom, was launched in 1983.

It is made from hops, malted barley, sucrose and yeast along with stabilisers and CO2. The alcohol is removed by vacuum evaporation at the end of the brewing process to make it a fuller tasting beer according to the brewer.

Even though it is classed as an alcohol free beverage it still contains trace amount of alcohol, around 0.05% to be exact. This amount of alcohol is naturally occurring and cannot be removed, and this same amount is also found in fruit juices.

Book of Records

The Guinness company also produced the "Guinness Book of Records", which originated in 1955 when a debate in a pub after a hunt could not be settled with existing reference books. After merger with the firms of Arthur Bell and United Distillers, the firm became Guinness PLC, and was no longer headed by a family member. It combined with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo PLC in 1997, at which point the Book of Records was sold to Gullane Entertainment, which in turn was purchased in 2002 by the book's current publishers, HIT Entertainment.

The Lions Gate Bridge

The Guinness Family paid for the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver to be built, which connects Vancouver to North Vancouver and West Vancouver over Burrard Inlet. The Guinness family sold the bridge to the province of British Columbia for over 6 million dollars in 1955.

The Guinnesses wanted a bridge to join downtown Vancouver to a remote area of West Vancouver where they were building a high scale housing development "The British Properties". The Guinnesses wanted a 4 lane suspension bridge and the government wanted a 2 lane. A three lane bridge was built. Tolls were at one end of the bridge and they were removed once the bridge was paid for. The British Properties were laid out with large lots, underground electrical, and building guidelines. Property was put aside as common area, room for a polo field, schools, a country club and a small sales office was placed at the first roundabout at the divided boulevard. []


Guinness sponsor the G.A.A (Gaelic Athletic Association) All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship (also known as the Guinness Hurling Championship due to the sponsorship deal since 1995). This sponsorship ends at the end of the 2007 Championship, as the GAA has unilaterally decided not to accept sponsorship from alcohol companies from now on.

Guinness also sponsor a large amount of Rugby Union related competitions and teams including title sponsor of the English Premiership (hence called the Guinness Premiership), shirt sponsor of the London Irish rugby team and Boston Irish Wolfhounds rugby team.

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse, "the home of Guinness", is Dublin's most popular tourist attraction. A converted brewing factory, it is effectively a shrine to Guinness, incorporating elements from the old brewing factory to explain the history of its production. Some of the old brewing equipment is on show, as well as stout ingredients, brewing techniques, advertising methods and storage devices.

The exhibition takes place over 7 floors, in the shape of a 14 million pint glass of Guinness. The final floor is the Gravity Bar, which has an almost 360° panorama over the city, where visitors can claim a free pint of "the black stuff".

The storehouse is where they used to add the yeast to the beer for fermentation.

Unlike the Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour, Guinness Storehouse visitors do not get to see the beer being brewed in front of them. But from various vantage points in the building you may see parts of the brewhouse, vats, grain silos and the keg yard.

ee also

*Arthur Guinness
*William Sealey Gosset (Guinness employee-turned-statistician, who wrote under the pseudonym "Student")


External links

Infobox Brewery
name = Arthur Guinness Son & Co.

caption =
location = Dublin, Ireland
owner = Diageo
opened = 1759
production = 100 million litres
active_beers =
seasonal_beers =
other_beers =

* [ Guinness Storehouse]

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