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The Irish beer brand used a recipe from 1817, the year of that first shipment, as inspiration for this new brew.

Mike Pomranz
October 16, 2017

Founded in 1829, Yuengling goes by the slogan "America's oldest brewery." To put things in perspective, Guinness was founded a full 70 years before that in 1759, back before the Declaration of Independence was even signed. In fact, Guinness has been importing its beers to the US for longer than any brewery in the United States has been around – since 1817. So the Irish brand has recently announced they plan to celebrate this 200-year anniversary with a new beer crafted from that original recipe from two centuries ago.

Based on its own handwritten historical records, Guinness says that the first export of the brand's beers to the United States – eight "hogshead" worth – was shipped on October 16th, 1817, intended for some gent in South Carolina by the name of John Heavy. According to Peter Simpson, Head Brewer at Open Gate, Guinness's pilot brewery in Dublin where the brand tests new products, the company dug into those same historical records, specifically working off of a recipe from Benjamin Guinness, son of Arthur Guinness, when crafting what would become its Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout. "We took a look at that export stout's recipe from 1817 in our brewing records and used that as our inspiration here, but it's not just an homage to who we were as brewers then or who America was as a country," said Simpson. "We're also using this beer as a way to show how much we're looking forward to the next 200 years. We knew it had to be special, and we really think this throwback recipe captures exactly what we wanted from 1817 all the way through 2017."

The final limited-edition beer is described as "a deep, dark, authentic export stout with smooth, rich flavor" – brewed with Black Patent Malt and Golding Hops – clocking in at 6 percent ABV. It will be sold nationwide both in six-packs and in a "Guinness 200 Years of Stout in America Mixed 12-Pack" that also tosses in three other varieties from the brewery. To promote the new product, Guinness put together a pretty cool 90-second clip with Archivist Eibhlin Colgan discussing the research that went into this brew and showing off some of those 200-year-old documents.

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