9 Odd Things You Didn’t Know About Guinness Beer

Photo courtesy of the Guinness Storehouse

Photo courtesy of the Guinness Storehouse

Get an early start on St. Patrick's Day shenanigans with these strange facts about Guinness beer

Guinness beer is one of the most recognizable beer brands in the world, but I bet there are a lot of things you don’t know about the Good Stuff. What follows are nine strange things you probably don't know about Ireland's beloved Guinness beer.

1. In Ireland, doctors used to prescribe Guinness to pregnant women because Guinness is rich in iron, something that expectant mothers need 50 percent more of in their diets. 

2. To this day, it’s not unusual to see nursing mothers drink small amounts of Guinness to increase their milk supply. 

3. Guinness is considered to be an aphrodisiac in some countries, including Nigeria, where it marketed as a “liquid Viagra.” 

4. Could there be some truth to this? Arthur Guinness, the man behind the stout we tout, fathered 21 children with his wife Olivia. 

5. Guess which part of the world is the biggest consumer of Guinness beer outside of the U.K., if you guessed North America or Australia, you need to start thinking a little more outside the box. Approximately 40 percent of all Guinness is sold in Africa. Nigeria just can’t seem to get enough of the “Black Stuff.”

6. That’s another thing, you might be able to order a pint at a pub simply by saying, “give me some of the Black Stuff,” but the nickname is actually quite inaccurate. The true color of Guinness is a deep ruby red.

7. I bet you didn’t know that Guinness has a panel of experts who come to brewery each morning and taste every batch of beer before it leaves the brewery.  So where do I send my resume, exactly?

8. Guinness is brewed in Dublin at the St. James’ Gate Brewery, one of the largest breweries in the world. How much do you think the company pays for rent each year? Hundreds of thousands of pounds?  A million pounds? More? Try 45 quid. That’s about $65 a year to produce beer for a multi-billion company.

9. Get this, in 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year-lease with the landowner at a fixed priced of 45 pounds per year. Well played, Arthur. Well played.

You can learn these nine odd facts and more by visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. Admission is about $17.50—including a free pint of Guinness for those ages 18 and older—and you could easily spend a whole day exploring the exhibits or learning how to properly pour a pint at the Guinness Academy.

Photo courtesy of the Guinness Storehouse

Photo courtesy of the Guinness Storehouse

The design of the seven-floor museum is impressive in and of itself. The lobby and the center of the museum, for example, is designed to resemble "the world's largest pint glass." Another fun fact: A copy of the infamous 9,000-year lease signed by Arthur Guinness is on display at the bottom of the pint glass ... embedded within the floor. Yeah, the Guinness Storehouse designers sure had their fun with the place.

Perhaps the most striking design element is the roof-top Gravity Bar, visited by most museum-goers at the end of the tour for a complementary pint of Guinness beer. It's important to note that the bartenders don't sell beer at the Gravity Bar. So your ticket is really the only way to enjoy a pint of the Black Stuff while taking in one of Dublin's best views.  

My visit at the Guinness Storehouse was made possible by Tourism Ireland. Views expressed are my own.