Guinness celebrates 250 years of stout brewing


MILLIONS OF glasses of Irish stout will be raised across the world today to toast the 250th anniversary of the country’s most famous export, Guinness.

To celebrate company founder Arthur Guinness’s decision to sign a 9,000 year lease on a brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin on this day in 1759, the current custodians of Ireland’s best know brand, Diageo, have organised events in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Thousands are expected to attend an invite only party at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, where Tom Jones, Kasabian and Estelle are to perform. The event, which will be streamed live to thousands of pubs via Sky television, is to be hosted by Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating and English TV presenter Cat Deeley. A number of other acts will perform at four venues across the city .

The Kooks and Richard Hawley are to play at The Academy, David Gray and The Enemy take to the stage at Whelan’s, Calvin Harris and Jamie Cullum are to perform at Tripod, while Razorlight and Sugababes play at Vicar St.

A host of other artists will perform at events in 28 smaller pubs around Dublin, while, at the same time, reggae star Sean Paul will play in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Black Eyed Peas will headline a show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Hon Desmond Guinness – the great, great, great, great grandson of Arthur – said he would be enjoying a low key event at the site of the first Guinness brewery in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

The company has dubbed this Arthur’s Day and has requested that those taking part in the celebrations raise their glasses at 17.59 today to mark the signing of the St James’s Gate lease in 1759.

Diageo has pledged to give €2.5 million this year to social entrepreneurs from the Arthur Guinness Fund, while An Post has printed a commemorative stamp in honour of Arthur, just as it did in 1959. A full programme of events is available from