Frequently Asked Questions
Give us a Q. We'll give you an A.
Questions, questions. People all over the world have questions about GUINNESS® stout. Here's a selection of those we've asked most often. If you don't see your question here and have a burning desire to know, then get in touch.
We'll do our best to come up with a straight answer.
What are the key ingredients in GUINNESS® ?
Our key ingredients - other than inspiration - are roasted, malted barley, hops, yeast and water.
What is the widget - and how does it work?
Glad you asked. The widget is a plastic molded device that sits on the top of the contents of each can of GUINNESS® Draught. When the can is opened, a small amount of beer and nitrogen, trapped in the widget, is forced out through the beer, which creates the famous creamy head that you find on a pint of GUINNESS® Draught served in a pub. The widget gives GUINNESS® Draught in cans the taste and texture of a pub-poured pint at home. In GUINNESS® Draught in bottles, the clever little 'rocket' widget floats free in the beer to refresh the creamy head of your GUINNESS® Draught with each swig you take from the bottle.
Why is GUINNESS® black?
Look closely. GUINNESS® beer is not actually black but rather dark ruby red because of the way the ingredients are prepared. Some malted barley is roasted, in a similar way to coffee beans, which is what gives GUINNESS® its distinctive color.
Why is the head of GUINNESS® Draught creamy white?
The creamy white head is created from the 'initiation' and 'surging' of bubbles of nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas as the beer is poured. It's actually the nitrogen that causes the tight white creamy head.
How should GUINNESS® Draught be poured?
In the pub or bar the perfect pint of GUINNESS© Draught is served using our famous 'two-part' pour. First, start with a clean, dry glass. Pour the GUINNESS® Draught into a glass tilted at 45 degrees, until it is three-quarters full. Allow the surge to settle before filling the glass completely to the top. Your perfect pint, complete with its creamy white head, is then ready to drink.
At home, you should let the can chill for at least 3 hours before pouring the contents of the can into a large glass in one smooth action.
How should I drink bottled or canned GUINNESS®?
Your method for drinking canned or bottled GUINNESS® depends on the variety. Here's how to enjoy:
GUINNESS® Extra Stout (bottle) - Pour into glass or drink directly from bottle.
GUINNESS® Foreign Extra Stout (bottle) - Pour into glass or drink directly from bottle.
Draught GUINNESS® (can) - Pour into glass.
Draught GUINNESS® (bottle) - Drink straight from bottle.
In Ireland, is GUINNESS® made with water from the River Liffey?
No. While the St. James's Gate Brewery is situated on the banks of the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, the water used in our brewing process comes from the Wicklow mountains, a little way to the south.
In how many countries worldwide is GUINNESS® stout brewed and sold?
GUINNESS® beer is available in well over 100 countries worldwide and is brewed in almost 50. As of June 30, 2004, the biggest-selling markets for GUINNESS® stout were (in order): Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, US and Cameroon.
How much GUINNESS® is sold worldwide?
Over 10 million glasses of GUINNESS® stout are enjoyed every single day around the world, and 1,883,200,000 pints are sold every year - that's 1.8 billion, to put it another way.
Where can I buy GUINNESS®-branded merchandise?
The Guinness company doesn't make its own merchandise, but licenses its trademark to many companies to make merchandise on its behalf. A wide selection of GUINNESS®-branded stuff can be purchased online at the GUINNESS® WebStore.
Visit the WebStore.
I'm coming to Dublin. Tell me how I can visit the home of GUINNESS®
Easy. The GUINNESS® STOREHOUSE™ would love to welcome you to its home at St. James's Gate. The GUINNESS® STOREHOUSE™ is a seven-storey tribute to the black stuff - a unique visitor centre opened in 2000 in the heart of the brewery. There you can learn all about our history, brewing process, advertising and more. And then enjoy a perfectly-served pint of GUINNESS® stout while enjoying one of Dublin's best views.
Learn all about the GUINNESS® STOREHOUSE™
Is it true that you get a much better pint of GUINNESS® stout in Ireland?
GUINNESS® is GUINNESS® - wherever you are. We always use pure, fresh water from natural local sources for the GUINNESS® stout brewed outside Ireland. That said, in blind tests (with a bunch of highly cynical journalists) none of our sample could tell the difference between Irish-brewed GUINNESS® and the locally produced variety. All the GUINNESS® sold in the UK, Ireland and North America is brewed in Ireland at the historic St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin.