21 November, 2007

the Brewery is not just a Brewery

Arthur Guinness was born in 1725 near Dublin in the town of Celbridge, county Kildare where his father, Richard Guinness, was a Land Steward. Part of Richard's duties were to supervise the brewing of beer for the workers on the estate and it is probable that young Arthur first learned the art of brewing from his father. The brewing industry in Dublin at that date was suffering because English beer was taxed less severely than the home-produced product. Arthur was not, however, deterred. He decided to acquire what was then a small, disused and ill-equipped brewery at St. James' Gate.

The lease, signed on 31 December 1759, was for 9000 years at an annual rent of £45, talk about smart business. To start with, Arthur brewed ale, but by the 1770s a new drink, a strong black beer called porter, was being exported from London. Arthur decided to brew this new beer himself. He proved extremely successful and right into his seventies Arthur continued to be active in supervising his business at the Brewery, now assisted by three of his sons. When he died in 1803, he left a considerable personal fortune of about 23,000 pounds and an extremely flourishing business which later generations of his family were to develop, following the example of initiative and enterprise set by its founder.

After venturing inside the Brewery, it was cool to see the transition from the outside of the brewery, which is a dark brown brick, to the inside, which was mostly steel. It was interesting how they seemed to keep the feel of the "old" rish brewery, but transformed the inside into an industry. The outside of the Brewery is deceiving in the sense that you cannot tell what it fully encompasses. The brewery shows you full how how the stout is brewed and gives you a full out view of the industry.

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