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14:09 Wed 26th May 2010 |

Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. It is the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland. Other products in the Guinness brand include Guinness Original in bottles and cans, Guinness Draught, Guinness Red where the barley is roasted a bit less to reveal the red colour and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

Arthur Guinness started brewing ales from 1759 at the St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, where all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland is still produced. Arthur Guinness started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. Guinness stout is made from water, barley, hops, brewer's yeast and is treated with isinglass finings made from fishes' air bladders.

Guinness is based on the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century. A distinctive feature is the burnt flavour which is derived from the use of roasted barley. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured.

Despite its reputation as a "meal in a glass", Guinness only contains around 198 kcal (838 kilojoules) per imperial pint (1460 kJ/l), fewer than skimmed milk or orange juice and most other non-light beers.

Guinness has been referred to as "Black Stuff" and as a "Pint of Plain" - referred to in the famous refrain of Flann O'Brien's poem "The Workman's Friend": "A pint of plain is your only man."

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