1 The Guinness Book of World Records was inspired by a pub argument
Guinness beer is linked to the eponymous world records. The idea for the book first came about in 1951, when Dublin’s Guinness brewery MD, Sir Hugh Beaver, had a dispute in a pub about the UK’s fastest game bird. The notion of a handy reference book covering ‘superlatives’ and fascinating facts began there and then. The Guinness Book of World Records was first published four years later in 1955.
2 Guinness was advertised as a health tonic
Guinness’s first national advertisement in print lauded the stout as a ‘valuable restorative after Influenza and other illnesses’, and contained the testimony of doctors praising its ability to cure insomnia and enrich the blood. The slogan ‘Guinness is good for you’ has passed into legend.
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Reader’s Digest shares more Guinness lore here: https://www.rd.com/culture/facts-about-guinness-beer/.
3 A mourning bartender invented ‘Black Velvet’
The smooth combination of Guinness and champagne known as ‘Black Velvet’ came about in 1861 when London was marking the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. Reportedly a bar steward working at Brook’s Club created the mixture with the notion that even fizz should be dressed in black to mark the sad occasion.
4 The Irish government changed the trademark of its coat of arms due to Guinness
The harp is well known as Ireland’s coat of arms. Guinness first used the ancient symbol in branding in 1862, on the label of its buff oval bottle. In 1984 the attorney general’s office decided to trademark the harp. They hoped to facilitate this with the harp facing in both directions for maximum protection against theft. However, the government was afraid that Guinness could challenge this since they had been using a right-facing harp symbol since before the modern state of Ireland even existed. Therefore, the attorney general registered only the harp facing left as the government’s trademark.
5 Guinness created a holiday
Guinness created ‘Arthur’s Day’ in 2009 to honour the founding father of the beer and to promote the stout’s 250th anniversary. The brewers asked participating drinkers to celebrate at 17:59 hrs, the numerals rendering the year of the beer’s birth. After five years, Guinness abolished the holiday.