It all starts with just one man, but it's not down to a single 'eureka' moment. The history of GUINNESS® is a stirring tale of inspiration, dedication, ingenuity and effort. It's over two centuries of sublime brewing craft, a remarkable knack for spreading the word and more than a few leaps of faith. It's the story of how a unique Irish stout became, with a little magic, one of the World's best-loved beers.
Scroll through the timeline by clicking and dragging the background or clicking the forward and back arrows below. Alternatively, jump to a period using the navigator. Some dates have additional material - just click an entry to reveal it. The key below shows the type of content you can expect to find. Get exploring - there’s plenty to discover, enjoy and share.
- 1801 West India Porter is first brewed.
- 1803 Arthur Guinness dies.
- 1811 First shipment of GUINNESS® stout made to Lisbon.
- 1815 European campaign victories.
- 1820s Shipments of GUINNESS® are made to Guernsey, Barbados, Trinidad and Sierra Leone.
- 1821 Secrets of a perfect porter.
- 1824 A World famous brew.
- 1833 Success by the barrel.
- 1834 New bottles have clear advantage.
- 1840 A shipment of GUINNESS® is sent to New York.
- 1850s From father to son to grandson.
- 1858 Pouring on the other side of the World.
- 1860s Animal brands are a sign of quality.
- 1861 Black Velvet born in London.
- 1862 The Harp plays its first bars.
- 1868 Family business stays on-track.
- 1869 'A Little Pint of Guinness History.'
- 1870 10% of GUINNESS® beer sales are now overseas.
- 1877 Ruling the River.
- 1886 Liquid investment.
- 1889 World Traveller begins fantastic voyage.
- 1890 Stout, hope and charity.
- 1893 Experimental appointment.
- 1900 A pint of GUINNESS® costs just 3d (old pence) in Britain.
- 1901 Scientists investigate dark matter.
- 1906 GUINNESS® feeds 10,000 mouths.
- 1910 Making a big splash on Broadway.
- 1912 Biggest grocer gets bottling.
- 1913 Stout sails on steam.
- 1914 50% of all GUINNESS® sold in USA is now bottled locally.
- 1914 Total foreign sales reach 100,000.
- 1914 Brewery output is up to almost 3 million barrels.
- 1927 Keeping it in the family.
- 1929 'Guinness is Good For You.'
- 1931 'I name this vessel the S.S Guinness…’
- 1936 Stout springs from foreign shores.
- 1939 At ease, soldier.
- 1939 Where can I get a GUINNESS® these days?
- 1941 Bottlers bombed but not beaten.
- 1940s From wood to steel.
- 1949 The African connection.
- 1950 to 1974 New GUINNESS® breweries open around the World.
- 1954 A message in a bottle x 50,000.
- 1958 Trials begin of new GUINNESS® Draught.
- 1958 'To you of the future…'
- 1959 The first 200 years are the hardest.
- 1959 Launch of Draught GUINNESS® in Great Britain.
- 1959 Go Guinness Ghana.
- 1960 Independent Nigeria to brew its own.
- 1963 Last of the old barrels.
- 1964 Canadian Variation gets going.
- 1965 Malaysian PM opens a fresh one.
- 1965 Land of the Rising Stout.
- 1970s Bulldog roams Malaysian market.
- 1973 Indonesia ready for business.
- 1975 Guinness Hong Kong formed.
- 1975 to 1999 More new GUINNESS® breweries.
- 1976 Over 7 million glasses of GUINNESS® are downed daily.
- 1981 He's a real GUINNESS® drinker.
- 1984 Welcome to the Hopstore.
- 1985 GUINNESS® now sold in 120 countries and brewed in 25.
- 1985 Pure advertising Genius.
- 1988 Advanced technology miniaturises pub.
- 1992 Thousands of Irish pubs exported.
- 1993 100 years of Malaysian memories.
- 1996 Majestic export success continues.
- 1996 'Not everything in black & white makes sense.'
- 1997 Diageo is formed.
- 1997 O'Malley's begins Chinese dynasty.
- 1998 Tick followed tock followed tick followed tock...
- 1999 Draught bottle gets rocket launch.
- 2000 Storehouse contains all things GUINNESS®.
- 2000 Himalayan brewing reaches new heights.
- 2000 North America brews its own.
- 2000 Brewing starts in Ethiopia, under contract.
- 2000 Overseas sales bring champagne celebration.
- 2001 World drinks two billion pints.
- 2002 GUINNESS® believes in new ads.
- 2003 1,760,000,000 pints and a packet of peanuts please.
- 2003 First production of GUINNESS® Extra Smooth in Ghana.
- 2003 The name’s Power, Michael Power.
- 2004 Storehouse well stocked with GUINNESS® fans.
- 2005 English rugby tackled.
- 2006 Scrum down for GUINNESS® in Ireland.
- 2007 10 Million glasses of GUINNESS® are enjoyed every day.
- 2007 Music Machine takes pole position.
- 2009 250 years of Guinness.