The 10th subject of our series on craftsmanship is to do with my favorite beer – Guinness beer, a.k.a. “The Black Stuff”, which has been a staple of Irish pubs and beer enthusiasts for over two hundred years, and is one of the most successful beer brands in the world. And the man responsible for this is Gearóid Cahill, Guinness’ Master Brewer.
Safeguarding a Legend
Gearóid was recruited into Diageo, the company that now produces Guinness beer, in June 1996. Handling such a legendary product as Guinness is an awesome responsibility and requires a firm commitment, and Gearóid has proven more than capable of the task. He’s been Guinness’ Master Brewer for over 15 years, and now oversees brewing operations all over the world and maintains their consistency, quality, and productivity. By the way, Guinness has a great logo and I should have included it in my list of top 10 beverage logos.
A Beer Unlike Any Other
Guinness stout is renowned for its dark color, creamy head, and burnt flavor. It has been brewed to such exacting standards that Guinness even has a strict procedure for every glass poured, called “the double pour”. Guinness recommends the entire procedure take 119.53 seconds. This number has become such an indelible part of the beer’s identity that one of its ad campaigns uses the line “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”.
Like other stout beers, Guinness is made of water, barley, hops, and yeast. In order to give Guinness its dark ruby color and unique taste, a portion of the barley is roasted.
The yeast is also a major factor in the Guinness recipe, so much that Gearóid and company have gone to great lengths to protect its secrets. Gearóid, along with Guinness Technology Manager Dan Donnelly, is credited with four patents relating to the calculation and viability assessment of yeast relating to beer. The recipe for the actual yeast is closely guarded. In fact, a sample of the brewer’s yeast is stored in a nitrogen-powered freezer away from the main St. James’s Gate brewery, in the event of a disaster.
More Than a Beer
Over the centuries, Guinness has become more than just a drink. It has become an icon of Irish culture. The beer has become virtually synonymous with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, with millions of people all over the world—Irish or not—chugging down a pint of Guinness in order to celebrate.
In fact, in early 2012 Guinness launched a campaign to declare St. Patrick’s Day as “The Friendliest Day of the Year”. An incredible 435,456 Guinness fans from 161 countries all over the world participated in the “Friendliest Day of the Year” campaign, and even more joined in that year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. This resulted in Guinness breaking two Guinness World Records: “Most Pledges received for a campaign”, and the “Largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration.”
And who was the Guinness representative who accepted the awards? None other than Gearóid Cahill. Here is an interesting interview with Gearóid:
Source Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TeiNgLnuLI