The 9 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Guinness

1. What are the ingredients in Guinness?

  • Water: Sourced for its purity and essential to the brewing process. 
  • Barley: Both malted and roasted a mix of raw barley, malted barley and roasted barley are used. Roasted barley contributes to the beer's characteristic dark colour and unique taste. 
  • Hops: These give bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malt and act as a natural preservative.
  • Yeast: Vital for fermentation, the yeast converts sugars from the barley into alcohol.

2. How is Guinness beer made?

The brewing process begins with mashing, where the milled barley is combined with hot water, forming a mash. Next, it's boiled with hops in a process called lautering. After boiling, the resulting liquid called ‘wort’ is cooled and transferred to fermentation vessels. Yeast is added, and fermentation occurs. The beer then undergoes maturation to develop its flavours. Before packaging, the beer is nitrogenated, which provides its iconic creamy mouthfeel. 

3. Is there really a 'right way' to pour a pint of Guinness?

Absolutely. To achieve the beautiful pour, you should use a clean, dry glass. First, tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle and pour until it's about three-quarters full. Let it settle so the surge forms the creamy head. Then, fill the glass to the top, pouring straight down the middle. This entire process takes approximately 119.5 seconds and is often referred to as the "119.5-second pour."

4. How many calories are in a pint of Guinness?

A standard pint (568 ml or 20 oz) of Guinness Draught contains approximately 210 calories. 

5. Why is Guinness black or dark in colour?

Its colour primarily comes from the roasted barley. When barley grains are roasted, they develop a deep, dark hue, which then gets transferred to the beer during brewing. Though often perceived as black, under light, Guinness has a ruby-red tint. 

6. Is Guinness vegan?

Guinness Draught became vegan-friendly in 2017. Before this change, Guinness used isinglass (a fish-derived gelatine) to clarify its beer. However, the Brewery altered the filtration process to remove isinglass, making the iconic draught beer suitable for vegans. 

7. Where is the Guinness brewery located?

The original Guinness brewery is at St. James's Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, it's one of the most iconic beer breweries globally and one of the best things to see and do in Dublin. While there are other brewing locations internationally, St. James's Gate remains the brand's heart and soul and is a popular tourist destination for those wanting to tour the brewery. 

8. What is the history of the Guinness brand?

Founded by Arthur Guinness in 1759, the brand quickly grew in prominence. Over the years, it evolved from just a local Irish beer to an international icon. Its distinctive taste, innovative advertising campaigns, and the foresight of its creators and inheritors contributed to its global success. Key moments include the 9,000-year lease signed by Arthur, the introduction of the nitrogenation process, and the various charitable efforts by the Guinness family. 

9. What makes Guinness head so creamy and thick?

This creamy head is a result of nitrogenation. While many beers are carbonated using just carbon dioxide, Guinness uses a mix of CO2 and nitrogen. Nitrogen produces smaller, finer bubbles than CO2, resulting in a velvety, creamy texture. When poured correctly, this nitrogenation process leads to the beer's famous surging effect and thick, creamy head. 


Guinness, with its deep roots in Irish culture and history, is more than just a beer; it's a symbol of craftsmanship, heritage, and tradition. From the precise art of pouring the perfect pint to the brand's continued dedication to quality, every aspect of Guinness tells a story. The unique brewing process, the iconic creamy head, and even its global recognition are testaments to centuries of innovation and passion. Whether you're enjoying a glass in a local Irish pub or on the other side of the world, the allure of Guinness remains undeniable. As we've uncovered through these common queries, there's always more to learn and appreciate about this legendary stout, further solidifying its place in the annals of brewing history. 


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