Frequently Asked Questions

Give us a Q. We'll give you an A.

Questions, questions. People the world over have questions about Guinness® stout. Here's a selection of those we're 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

Yes, our new state-of-the-art filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and therefore made the ingredients in Guinness Draught, Guinness Extra Stout and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout vegan friendly.

Our key ingredients – other than inspiration – are roasted barley, malted barley, hops, yeast and water.

Glad you asked. The widget is a plastic moulded 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 surge and 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.

Look closely. Guinness Draught beer is not actually black but rather dark ruby red because of the way the ingredients are prepared. Some raw barley is roasted, in a similar way to coffee beans, which is what gives Guinness Draught its distinctive colour.

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.

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, just domed proud of the glass rim, is then ready to drink.

At home, you should let the can chill for at least 24 hours before pouring the contents of the can into a large glass in one smooth action.

Start by ensuring that your bottle is perfectly chilled, we would recommend refrigerating it at 8 degrees Celsius for at least 24 hours before you serve. Check that you have the correct, clean glassware before you crack the cap. Tilt the glass and the bottle towards each other, starting both at an angle of 45 degrees. Pour slowly in one single go, the bottle shouldn’t touch the glass at any stage. As you reach the end of the bottle, the head comes just over the top to create a beautiful tanned head. Your perfect Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is now ready to drink.

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.

Guinness beer is available in well over 100 countries worldwide and is brewed in over 40. Some of the biggest-selling markets for Guinness Draught include Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, US and Cameroon.

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.

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.

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.

The alcohol percentage of Guinness varies depending on the product. See below for a breakdown of each beer’s ABV, from highest to lowest.

  • West Indies Porter 6%
  • Guinness Hop House 13 Lager 4.6%
  • Guinness Original 4.2%

The calorie count in Guinness is different for each beer, and is also based on the serving size (i.e. a pint, or can). See below for the number of calories per liquid volume, from highest to lowest.

  • West Indies Porter 265 per 500ml
  • Guinness Original 175 calories per 500ml
  • Guinness Hop House 13 Lager 116 calories per 330ml

The amount of carbs in Guinness ranges for each beer, and is also based on the serving size (i.e. a pint or can). See below for the number of carbs per liquid volume, from highest to lowest.

  • West Indies Porter 22g per 500ml
  • Guinness Original 13.3g per 500ml
  • Guinness Hop House 13 Lager 9.2g per 330ml