An Interesting Story



It may seem odd to tell you a story about a beer and the benefits it brought to a people group when this is a blog about our soap and art business…. but we have been blending up Beer Soap for a client, and one specific request was Guinness Soap.

Guinness was first brewed at a time when beer was labeled for its potency.  Stout was one of the strongest of the beers brewed.  Of course beer was a popular beverage but because of the ingredients in guiness stout, there was a higher mineral and vitamin content than regular beers.  In addition they used a barley malt that was toasted, freeing a higher amount of antioxidants.  Medical literature is careful to tiptoe around the idea that alcoholic beverages have health benefits, but some will tell you that the health to a mineral deprived Irish society of the 1800s who consumed Guinness was noticeable.  Their health improved. The BBC reports that studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that “‘antioxidant compounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.


But what about Guiness in soap?  

Beer soap is an excellent cleansing, lathering, and moisturizing experience…and a beer lover’s dream come true. And yes, beer does indeed have beneficial qualities for daily skin care!!!  

Since beer is made with hops, the properties and benefits of hops become a skin blessing when used as the base for soap. Hops is known as a relaxing herb and that relaxing affect stays with the soap after going through the soap making process. Hops is known to be a soothing agent for irritated skin because it containes polyphenols.  Polyphenols have qualities like being anti-bacterial and act as preservatives.  Hops are alos blessed with amino acids that soften skin.  Great stuff… ideal for soap.

Here are some interesting facts about Guiness that you might not know:

1. What’s in a name?
A stout by any other moniker might indeed taste as sweet. Guinness’ dark, creamy brew was originally called Porter, and later Stout Porter, to denote its strength and popularity amongst U.K. train porters. In the late 18th century, the then-singularly named Stout grew so successful that Guinness stopped brewing other varieties of beers, focusing instead on porters and stouts.

2. Out of Africa
Nearly 40% of Guinness is consumed somewhere in Africa. Of five Guinness-owned breweries worldwide, three are in African nations. Nigeria, home to one of those five breweries, is the world’s second-largest market for Guinness consumption. Great Britain is first, Ireland comes third, Cameroon fourth, and we in the U.S. stand in measly fifth place.

3. Trivial pursuit
Hold up. Was Freddie Mercury born in India or Zanzibar? Guinness is so dedicated to settling the sort of obscure debates born in bars that in 1954, managing director Hugh Beaver launched a compendium of little-known facts called the Guinness Book of Records. Originally intended as a marketing giveaway, the book became a runaway success upon its commercial release in 1955, and one of the oddest publishing sensations since an auto company named Michelin tackled fine dining.

4. Color block
It’s not black. It’s not even brown. Hold your beer up to the light – or, hey, maybe try drinking someplace that isn’t so dimly lit. You’ll see that Guinness is actually a deep, dark red, a color the company attributes in part to the roasting of malted barley during the beer’s preparation.

5. Progressive pints
Arthur Guinness, a wealthy Protestant with minimal beverage experience, founded his now-world-famous St. James’ Gate brewery in 1759. He happened to be an innovative human rights advocate, funding Ireland’s version of the Red Cross and creating housing developments for Dublin’s disenfranchised poor. As a company, Guinness supported Irish troops in both World Wars, guaranteeing its workers jobs upon return from service and paying their families a portion of their salary in absentia.

6. Get physical
Rich in iron and antioxidant compounds, a 20-ounce pint of Guinness is a mere 210 calories. Compare that to a 150-calorie glass of milk, and you’ve got yourself a healthy sip, rich enough to make the angels sing. Speaking of which….

7. Holy rollers
Generations of Guinness men worked to preserve Dublin’s historic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a national landmark and Ireland’s largest church. Benjamin Lee Guinness, Arthur’s third son, oversaw the 1860-1865 renovation that prevented the cathedral’s collapse.

8. Home is where the heart is
In 1997, the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan created the English conglomerate Diageo, which produces Jose Cuervo and Smirnoff. The quintessential Irish brew is thus no longer based in Dublin, but London.

9. Eight days a week
Miss St. Patrick’s Day this year? Consider kicking back with a cold one on Arthur’s Day, a corporate-sponsored “holiday” started in 2009. The next Arthur’s Day hits on September 27, 2013 at 5:59 p.m. (17:59 in local time, a nod to the year of Guinness’ founding), at which point a student-heavy crowd across the city toasts the success of Ireland’s heritage beer and yells in unison, “To Arthur!”

10. Kitchen staple
Guinness is a pantry workhorse. From tenderizing beef in a classic meat-and-potatoes Irish stew, to drizzling on plain-Jane vanilla ice cream for a sweet taste of the sauce, choosy cooks choose Guinness.

11. Feed your head
Bartenders are not being fussy when they insist on the double-pour. Unlike other taps, Guinness is dispensed through a five-hole disk restrictor plate (don’t worry about it; just know it makes your beer delicious). It supplies an uncommon amount of nitrogen, making the head extra-effervescent. As such, two shifts are needed: one to start the magic, and a second to finish the job. The perfect pint is said to take 119.5 seconds to pour. But who’s counting?


And what else do people use Guiness for?  Cooking – the internet is re pleat with recipes for using the beer in cooking and baking.  Here are a few links you might enjoy:


Guinness good for more than just drinking – Longview News-Journal: Food.