View Full Version : Guinness (Ulster)

05-08-2004, 10:40 PM
Guinness is alive and well in the north of Ireland - true.

The same product as in the south? Forget it!

Guinness have a "holding company" in the north which distributes the products and that is all. In reality, just a rail-head at Boucher Road, south Belfast. They still have a part stranglehold on the province (along with Bass).

Ask anyone who drinks north and south if there is a difference. Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks. All taste better in the south (and far better than they do in the rest of the UK).


Well, my own opinion is that the Republic of Ireland is a foreign country, therefore import duty costs money. So a product of lesser quality (% strength) costs less.

Mind you this is only MY opinion.


05-08-2004, 11:47 PM
Oh, yeh.


Well, Guinness brought out their own equivalnet - Kilkenny.

It died a sudden and unremarked death. if you ever got to taste it then you would not question why. Still, they had to come up with something along the lines of Caffrey's.


Richard English
05-09-2004, 04:01 AM
Quote "...Well, my own opinion is that the Republic of Ireland is a foreign country, therefore import duty costs money. So a product of lesser quality (% strength) costs less..."

Whereas it is true that Ireland is not part of the UK I doubt that import duties have much to do with the different styles of Guinness. In fact, there are several recipes for Guinness (I heard once that it is a dozen or more) and all they have in common is that they produce a black beer with a thick head.

The Guinness sold in England is presently brewed in Park Royal, North London, although this brewery is closing and the UK will be supplied from Dublin.

At the GBBF in August those who wish will probably be able to try different strains of Guinness - I tried the Nigerian one last year and wished I hadn't!

05-09-2004, 08:24 AM
Do you like the Belgium Guiness, Richard?


Richard English
05-09-2004, 09:36 AM
I've never tried the Belgian Guinness. When I go to Belgium I stick with their beers. Good, cheap and plentiful!

05-10-2004, 04:00 PM
Whilst my experience is very limited, I don't remember noting an obvious difference between Guinness in Northern Ireland (Belfast specifically) and Guinness in the Republic of Ireland, Dublin excepted. Granted I haven't been back to Belfast in about 6 years and I was in the Republic a few months back.

It would seem folly to brew to a significantly different recipe for folks a mere few hours ride up the road.

That said I'm a Beamish or Biddy Early man, if we're talking stout from the Island.

05-10-2004, 04:02 PM
FWIW the Belgian Guinness Foreign Extra is quite tasty. The Jamaican Guinness Foreign Extra isn't fit to drink. I've not had the Nigerian/African version(s).

05-10-2004, 04:37 PM
I like Biddy Early stuff, but we cannot get it here on a regular basis.

The website http://www.beb.ie/ gives some info. The originator died a few years ago but it is still going strong.

The brewery picked up first prize in "Stout of the Festival" at the first "Belfast Beer Festival, 1995, with Black Biddy. Cracking stuff!

It had been many years since I had been down south and I always heard people mention the difference in stout & beers compared to the north. When I finally got there i found it to be true. No idea why though.


05-10-2004, 05:05 PM
I had the B.E's beers all throughout the West coast of the Republic and saw it in one place in Dublin. It's wonderful stuff.

I've always just assumed that the struggle of real ale/craft brewing in the North (or indeed in the South) to be related to the deadly combination of relatively small population and an ubelievably large monopolistic company (that Arthur what's-his-name's brewing and t-shirt concern). The other side of the coin of course being a population that likes it's drink and seemingly doesn't suffer pish too gladly. Though my last soujourn through the your part of the world the kid's facination with alcopops and Miller/Bud was alarming to say the least.