How Guinness is Made

Guinness is a dry stout that originated in Ireland in 1759, and is currently brewed across the world. It is considered to be one of the most successful brands of beer in the world, as well as the oldest beers. For much of the beer’s existence, variations of stouts were all they produced, though in recent years they’ve slightly branched out on their offerings, to follow current trends and gain a wider demographic.

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The beer has a recognizable burnt flavor that is credited to the roasting process of a portion of the barley that is left unmalted. While the beer has a dark black appearance, when it is held up to the light a dark ruby color can be seen. It has a smooth, creamy head when poured that comes from the addition of nitrogen in the pouring process.

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The original beer has evolved only slightly over the years, with the ABV of the original lower than it was initially. The yeast has been the same batch for generations, and is a highly guarded addition to the beer. The process to make Guinness is much like most beers, but they have a fine set of guidelines to ensure the experience of drinking one is universal, no matter where it is consumed.


What are the ingredients in Guinness?

Like most beers, Guinness is produced by brewing together water, barley, hops, brewer’s yeast, and roast malt extract. Guinness gets its dark stout coloring and flavor from roasted barley. Because it is a stout, with a hearty rich flavor, it is often considered to be heavy, but it has similar calories as many other beers and variations the same ingredients.

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What is the process used to make the Guinness Stout?

Malt Some Barley: Using barley only grown on Irish soil, and malted right on site of the Guinness Brewery, barley is credited as the foundation of the beer. Hot water and milled malted barley are combined and mashed to extract sugars from the mixture, and the grain and liquid are separated. The remaining liquid is known as sweet wort.

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Roast Some Barley: The separate roasted barley component of the stout is created by roasting the barley at a very precise temperature of 232 degrees Celsius. It is the highest temperature possible to roast it without the barley catching on fire, and gives the beer the most flavor possible.


Add the Hops: The hops are added to the sweet wort for additional flavor and stability. The mixture is boiled for 90 minutes before being left to cool.

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Add the Yeast: Guinness has its own highly coveted strain of yeast that is added to every batch of the stout made. The yeast is so important that a reserve batch is kept safely locked up in the event something were to ever happen to the main supply. The particular yeast used in Guinness has been passed down through several generations.


Exhibit patience: After all the ingredients are combined, they must have time to mature in order for the beer to it its proper consistency and flavor.


Testing: Once the beer has properly matured, it is reading for its final round of testing.  Nitrogen is added to give it the creamy head it is known worldwide. It received a head height test to make sure each pint has the proper number of bubbles, which is roughly three million. It is also sent through the Sensory Panel, the final gate designed to ensure that no beer leaves the brewery that isn’t completely up to par.


Packaging: Once every test is passed with flying colors, the beer is finally ready to be packaged into kegs, bottles, or cans and distributed.

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