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Guinness – Darkness Reigns this Halloween Season

Diageo’s ‘Darkness Reigns’ campaign is aimed at turning Halloween into an occasion for Guinness. Guinness feels that the brand is a natural fit with Halloween, as the beer and the holiday share Celtic roots.  To forge the connection, a Halloween-inspired drink called Black n’ Blood – a Guinness with a shot of black currant cordial – has been declared the ‘True Brew of Halloween.”  Try one today and you will understand why everyone is saying that ‘Darkness Reigns’ this Halloween.

More on Guinness

Arthur Guinness Son & Co., founded 1756, produces a dark stout beer (a type of porter), known widely as Guinness. This beer has been brewed at St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at IR£45 per annum for the unused brewery.

Ten years later in 1769 Guinness exported their product for the first time. Six and a half barrels of Guinness Stout were shipped from Ireland to England. The word “stout” was not attached to the beer until the 1820s. It is also brewed under licence internationally; the resulting beer is, from all reports, significantly different. The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005.

Guinness stout is made from four natural ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. The barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste.[1] Despite the “meal in a glass” or “liquid bread” reputation the beverage has among some non-Guinness drinkers, Guinness only contains 198 calories (838 kilojoules) per imperial pint (1460 kJ/l), less than an equal-sized serving of skimmed milk or orange juice.

Draught Guinness and its canned namesake contain nitrogen (N2) as well as carbon dioxide (CO2). Unlike carbon dioxide, nitrogen does not dissolve in water, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. The high pressure is required to force the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic “surge” (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to the low acidity and the creaminess of the head caused by the surging. “Original Extra Stout” tastes quite different; it contains only CO2, making a more acidic taste.


Draught Guinness is considered at its best flavour when served cool, although not necessarily cold. It should be poured slowly at a 45° angle; about three quarters is poured and left to settle before the rest is added. The tap handle should be pushed forward, rather than pulled, when the beer is topped off. This creates the characteristic creamy head that lasts until the last sip.

Recent advertising campaigns state that “it takes 119.6 seconds to pour the perfect pint” of Guinness. While this method of pouring (slow) is done in Ireland and the UK, many American bars seem to ignore the requisite ‘slow pour’.

Some bar tenders also draw a simple design in the head during the slow pour. Shamrocks and harps are quite popular designs for this.

It is a common myth that Guinness is brewed using water from the River Liffey, which flows through Dublin close to St James’s Gate. It actually comes from the Wicklow Mountains, specifically, Lady’s Well.


A long time subject of bar conversations has been the observation that gas bubbles travel downwards in a pint glass of Guinness.

The effect is attributed to drag; bubbles which touch the walls of a glass are slowed in their upwards travel. Bubbles in the centre of the glass are, however, free to rise to the surface, and form a rising column of bubbles. The rising bubbles create a current by the entrainment of the surrounding fluid. As beer rises in the center, the beer near the outside of the glass falls. This downward flow pushes the bubbles near the glass towards the bottom.

Although the effect occurs in any liquid, it is particularly noticeable in any dark nitrogen stout, as the drink combines dark-coloured liquid and light-coloured bubbles.

(Courtesy of magicaljourneys.com)


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