It first hit the Dublin social scene in 2009 to celebrate 250 years of the making of Guinness on Irish shores and now Arthur’s Day has become a fixture in our city’s cultural calendar. And this year will be no exception we’re sure. Visitors will learn that the custom is to raise a glass of the black stuff to Mr Arthur Guinness (founder of the Dublin brewery in 1759) at 17.59pm on Thursday, September 26 - a month today.
There’ll also be live entertainment in many a Dublin pub – and throughout Ireland as a whole - to celebrate the day as well as special events globally in countries such as India, Kuala Lumpur, the United States and Cameroon. And if you can’t be there well, you’ll always catch a glimpse or two as some of the concerts – especially the Jakarta event – tend to be televised globally. This year’s line up is bigger and better than ever with bands such as Firehouse, Club 8, One Republic and Mew playing it Jakarta it’s been recently announced. We’re waiting on tenterhooks to find out who the Irish performers will be this year but last year we had top rated acts such as Mumford and Sons, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Primal Scream and Fatboy Slim as well as Amy MacDonald and Tinie Tempah.
Who was Arthur Guinness? The young Arthur started out in the brewer trade working for a family in County Kildare in the 1740s. They gave out ale to their workers at the time, believing it to be far better for the body and constitution than water. With a small inheritance and aged 27 Arthurs expanded an existing brewery and worked with his younger brother Richard for four years. ç
It was in 1759 that the ambitious young brewer came to Dublin to start his own business.
It wasn’t a good time to be a brewer in Ireland however as English taxes favoured English beers. Nevertheless he persisted and actually exported ale to England. Guinness, which he started making in the 1770s, was well-established by 1794 and in 1797 such was its popularity that he stopped making ale at the brewery and concentrated solely on producing ‘Guinness’s Extra Superior Porter.’ ‘Stout’ became an off-shoot of porter and in 1840 it became ‘Guinness Extra Stout.’ Its creamy white head was the result of nitrogen being mixed with the beer as it was poured.
Arthur Guinness is celebrated as being one of the first businessmen in Dublin back in 1876 to give his employees proper healthcare and pensions. He died in 1803 and his son Arthur II took over and expanded as far afield as the Channel Islands.
By1840 Guinness was selling in Barbados and New York. The city is bound to be busy around the date of September 26 so we’d advise that if you’re looking for somewhere to stay around that time you get booking early to reserve a room in advance. You can see our own availability right here at our website www.sandymounthotel.ie Image via entertainment.ie and allaboutbeer.com
Susan is super passionate about hotels and in a past life was a travel writer and hotel critic. As a Dublin native she also loves everything about the city and wants to share her knowledge on all the best bits.