250th anniversary of Guinness Brewery


An Post stamp marks 250th anniversary of Guinness Brewery

Dublin, August 27th, 2009:  A new postage stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Guinness Brewery was unveiled at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin today.

Lord Iveagh (Mr Edward Guinness) and his sons Arthur and Rupert were special guests at the unveiling of the stamp which formally issues tomorrow (Friday).

Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759 when he secured a nine thousand year lease on the St James’s Gate site for the annual sum of £45.   He had already established himself as a skilled brewer in County Kildare, and he was an ambitious and astute businessman.  At first, Guinness was a Dublin tipple but Arthur used the growing network of canals to send Guinness all over the country.  By 1886 St James’s Gate was the largest brewery in the world. 

Later, the infamous 1930’s “My Goodness, My Guinness” posters created by John Gilroy spread word of the black stuff to new customers in the UK and around the world. Nowadays, 10 million glasses of Guinness are consumed in over 150 countries, every day. 

Speaking at the event, Diageo Managing Director John Kennedy, said Guinness is one of Ireland’s most famous products, recognised worldwide as intrinsically Irish.  “What a fitting tribute from An Post to dedicate a stamp to mark our 250th anniversary.  A commemorative Irish stamp ensures an appropriate honouring and celebration of the man Arthur Guinness, the famous brand he created and the St James’s Gate brewery,” he said.

An Post Chief Executive, Donal Connell said “as this stamp travels around the globe it carries with it a strong message of Irish pride in the Guinness tradition, in its commercial success nationally and internationally and in its ability to evolve and adapt to an ever- changing market in an ever-changing world”.

The 82c stamp, featuring an 18th Century portrait of Arthur Guinness (artist unknown) covers airmail letter postage to any part of the world.   A specially designed First Day Cover, also by Zinc Design, shows a photograph of the first fleet of Guinness Liffey barges moored at Victoria Quay.   Both may be viewed and purchased at www.irishstamps.ie and at all main post offices and the GPO Philatelic Shop.