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Our Brewers

Michael Ash – inventor of surge and settle

The world’s first Nitro beer

From the late 1800s, we introduced the discipline of science to brewing, as part of our quest to make the best beer possible. Michael Ash; a mathematician turned brewer who joined Guinness in 1951, helped develop a fresh approach to our craft.

“I don’t think anyone has called me a genius…an achiever is what I like”

Michael Ash (1927 – 2016)

Throughout the 1950s, he became fascinated by the idea of serving Guinness in draught format and was convinced that adding nitrogen to the beer was not only the most effective way to do this, but also that it would transform the actual beer itself.

Ash’s ‘Easy Serve’ system created the ‘surge and settle’ effect that draught Guinness is now famous for, and with it, the world’s first nitro beer.

The world's first nitro beer

The world's first nitro beer

“Michael Ash was a great brewer with the mind of a true innovator.”

Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer and Baileys

“Michael Ash was a great brewer with the mind of a true innovator. His vision to create a nitrogenated Guinness beer revolutionized how Guinness is enjoyed around the world today. His innovative spirit and legacy live on in every pint of Guinness.” - Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer and Baileys