We couldn’t talk about Ireland without mentioning one of the most famous Irish drinks. Here are 10 facts about Guinness that you might not know.
1 Guinness is an Irish dry stout (a stout is a type of beer). It is brewed in almost 60 countries and is available in over 120 countries world wide.
2 Annual sales of Guinness total 850 million litres. In comparison, that represents the yearly wine production of the Veneto region in Italy.
3 The burnt flavour of the beer comes from roasted unmalted barley, which was introduced in the middle of the 20th century.
4 The thick creamy head of the beer comes from pouring the beer through a special tap. First, the waiter holds the glass at a 45° angle below the tap until the glass is three quarters full. The beer is forced at high speed through a specific plate at the end of the tap which creates small bubbles of nitrogen. The initial pour is left to settle and then the waiter fills the rest of the glass until the head is slightly domed over the top of the glass.
5 Nearly 40% of Guinness is consumed in Africa. Guinness owes 5 breweries worldwide and three are located in Africa. Nigeria, which boasts one of these breweries is the world’s second-largest Guinness consumer. Ireland comes third, Great Britain first, and Cameroon fourth.
6 Guinness is rich in iron and antioxidants and yet a pint of Guinness only brings 210 calories, about the same as a pint of orange juice (220 calories). For your information, a pint of full fat milk brings 320 calories while a pint of coke brings 232 calories. Guinness might after all be good for you!
7 To pour the perfect pint, it is said to take 119.5 seconds.
8 What we know today as the Guinness book of records was created in 1955 as a marketing giveaway.
9 Guinness is not just good as a drink. It is also fantastic added to your cooking. It has found its way into Irish stew, in sauces and even poured on top of vanilla ice cream for extra flavour.
10 This last fact is for you, my Vegan friends. I am sorry to say that Guinness isn’t vegan friendly. You see, the manufacturing process of Guinness involves isinglass. This is a product used as a finishing agent to settle suspended matter in the beer vat. Although you don’t normally find it in the beer since it is at the bottom of the vat, some traces might end up in the beer. And unfortunately, isinglass is made from fish.