Guinness beer alcohol content is something that has a lot of myths and stories around it. The alcohol content, the flavors, and the different varieties of this beer make it one of the best and most highly rated stout beers in the world. Arthur Guinness first made this beer at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, and since then, it has become a sensation.
Our team has prepared this in-depth guide to the alcohol content of Guinness beer, plus interesting facts, types, and more!
Does Guinness Draught Have High Alcohol Content?
The Guinness Original ABV level is merely 4.2 percent, which is below the average ABV of most stout beers. This is quite surprising for a stout beer and comes as a shock to many beer advocates. This is one of the prominent factors that make this beer unique among other stouts.
The average ABV of stout beer is more than 7 – 8 percent, which is why it is a popular belief that Guinness draught beer has high alcohol content. But this is nothing more than a myth and misinformation. Its alcohol by volume is lower than many lager beers, whereas Guinness itself is a stout, which is an ale variety that is mainly comprised of strong beers.
Now that we have cleared some of the biggest myths about Guinness beer, let us find out some of the best facts about this unique stout.
– Which Guinness Has the Highest Alcohol Content?
The Guinness Antwerpen beer has the highest alcohol content, with an ABV level of 8 percent.
It is the strongest variety available in their brewery.
– Can You Get Drunk from Guinness?
Not necessarily; since Guinness has a low alcohol level, many people think this beer can not make people drunk, but it is not true. You can drink this beer a little more than other stouts due to the low alcohol. However, you can easily get drunk if you drink too much of it.
– Nutritional Facts
Guinness beer has an average serving of 335 milliliters, with the following components:
- Calories: 125
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 10 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Alcohol: 11.2 grams
- Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.2 percent
The calories and carbs of this beer are not very low. Thus, the myth that this beer is diet-friendly is not true. This beer is low in alcohol and creamy in texture, which makes it very easy to drink.
Guinness beer is known for its velvety smooth mouthfeel and clean finish. As the makers of this unique beer like to say, this beer feels like swirling clouds inside the mouth. This beer is light-bodied, unlike other stouts, and has a sweet and refreshing finish.
The taste of the Guinness beer is dark, chocolatey, and full of roasted elements. The flavor profile is balanced, creamy, and velvety smooth. It is also known as an Irish dessert stout beer among many beer lovers due to its chocolatey taste.
Though the appearance and color of the beer give an initial impression that this can be a heavy beer, it is not. The overall taste is very light and smooth, and you can clearly taste the exclusive Irish barley malts, hops and yeast, and more.
The beer also has a mildly sweet taste that is not overpowering. It also has roasted flavors, sharp, astringent character, and fruity ester tastes. Though this beer has a sweet taste, it has a dry finish and forms an excellent balance with oxidized flavors.
You can also taste very subtle notes of dark coffee. This makes it one of the best bitter-sweet stouts in the world. The taste of alcohol is also not very strong and does not hit very hard. Hence, it is an easy drink for most people.
The Guinness beer has a rich, chocolatey smell with lots of roasted ingredients. It comes with a balanced, creamy, and velvety smooth smell. Although the beer’s appearance and color initially give the idea that it would be strong, this is not the case. The smell is extremely light and pleasant overall, and you can smell the unique Irish hops, yeast, and roasted Irish barley malts, among other things.
Additionally, the beer has a subtle sweetness that is not overbearing on the nose. You can also clearly smell fruity ester and the smell of roasted coffee and malts. The smell is sweet, roasted, and deep, like chocolate and coffee. It is well-balanced; none of it overlaps the other and binds together cohesively.
You can also smell the unique essence of fruits like cherries and raisins, enhancing the beer-drinking experience. The smell of alcohol is not very strong; hence, you must observe closely to get its essence.
Though this beer is now available in cans and you can directly drink out of them, it is advisable to drink it in a pint glass. This brings about the full feeling of this beer, which includes its exotic and rich appearance.
This beer is dark brown to almost black in color and has a very dense appearance. This beer also forms a light brown head when poured into a serving glass. The foamy head has good retention and a creamy texture.
This beer does not have carbonation but is nitrogen-infused, which also gives rise to bubbles. But the beer is so dense in texture that these bubbles are hardly noticeable.
The Guinness draught beers use a variety of carefully sourced ingredients like malt grains, Irish barley, hops, yeast, and water. The Irish barley malts are one of their prime ingredients and belong in their 260-year-old secret recipe.
Their ingredients are hand-picked and sourced specifically by the head brewmasters, and they are quite proud of these exclusive additions to their beers. It is also said that this beer’s unique flavor profile and foamy head are made by mixing carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Back in 1959, a man called Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in an old but unused Irish brewery. They have a nearly 260-year-old recipe used to produce this beer in over 50 countries worldwide. However, it is commercially available in almost 150 countries. The annual demand for this beer in 2011 was a whopping 850,000,000 liters worldwide.
Previously, this beer was only available at their small local brewery, but after a few decades, Arthur Guinness started to ship it to several parts of Europe, especially Britain. Currently, the Guinness & Co. Brewery makes and supplies this beer worth millions of dollars.
Guinness stout beer was once said to have many health benefits. This belief was so popular that many people were given Guinness to drink after they donated blood in many European countries. This beer contains some amounts of iron, which might be unique for beer, but the iron quantity is only 0.3 milligrams per pint, which is not enough for it to have health benefits.
According to health guidelines, men need 8.7 milligrams of iron daily, while women need 14.8 milligrams. So yes, you can drink Guinness beer for its good taste and different flavors and varieties, but certainly not for its health benefits.
Back in the day, Guinness even ran advertisements that said that Guinness beer is healthy for people due to its various nutritional benefits. They said it benefited the heart and arteries and helped reduce cholesterol.
But these claims have been refuted by all scientific processes, and the brand no longer promotes this beer for its health benefits. Nonetheless, due to the low alcohol content of this beer, it can be an excellent selection for health-conscious people.
Different Types of Guinness Beer
The following are the delicious varieties of Guinness beer.
– Guinness Over the Moon Milk Stout
This Guinness stout is a milk stout that is slightly sweeter than other regular Guinness beers.
This beer is known to be brewed with additional lactose along with specialty malts, espresso coffee, and dark chocolate. This beer has a 5.3 percent ABV level and a creamy and luxurious finish. It is one of the newest additions to the Guinness house of stout beers.
– Guinness Blonde
Guinness Blonde beer has a 5 percent ABV level and a refreshing sour and citrusy taste. It is made by mixing some of the oldest Irish and American beer brewing traditions and uses Citra hops instead of the popular Mosaic hops to get this exclusive flavor. This is a rich golden-colored beer that also has the velvety finish of most Guinness beers.
– Guinness Extra Stout
This stout has a 5.6 percent alcohol level and a very sharp and crisp taste. It is creamy but almost black in color and has a bitter-sweet finish.
This beer has a light hop bite but also has very rich taste notes of coffee, caramel, and roasted malts. The overall taste is balanced and rich.
– Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
This beer is very strong, with a 7.5 percent ABV level. They use a lot of extra hops and hence this beer is slightly on the more bitter side. This beer also uses a roasted barley variety and has a dense, sweet, but overall bitter taste.
– Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout
This beer is made in honor and celebration of their Guinness beer’s 200th Anniversary.
It has a dark ruby red color and a deep, smoky, almost cheesy gouda character. This beer has a medium ABV level of only 6 percent and a mild chocolate flavor.
– Do the Irish Actually Drink Guinness?
Guinness beer is very popular among the Irish, and they tend to order thousands of this beer on St. Patricks Day to celebrate their culture and heritage. They consider drinking Guinness beer almost like a ritual that most Irish people follow.
– How Do You Properly Drink Guinness?
Guinness beer is ideally supposed to be consumed at 40 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. Though it is available in cans you can buy from stores, true beer lovers believe it tastes best when poured into a pint serving glass.
However, this beer forms a heavy foam, so when pouring, you have to wait for quite some time for the foam to subside a little before you can finish pouring the rest of the beer.
Guinness is one of the most popular beers among most beer lovers who like a good stout beer. Though it was born in Europe, this beer has now made its mark worldwide, so before you buy another bottle of this beer, here is a quick recap of all we learned today.
- The idea that Guinness beer has a higher alcohol content is a myth. Unlike most stout beers, this unique beer has a lower-than-average ABV level, making it an easy drink.
- Guinness beer is one of the world’s most popular Irish stout beers. It is made in the traditional Irish brewing style using exclusive Irish barley malt and the old brewing style of Arthur Guinness.
- The overall texture of this beer is creamy, smooth, and velvety. This beer also has a dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted barley taste, which gives it a bitter-sweet taste.
- Initially, the Guinness Stout beer makers marketed it as a healthy drink. However, these myths have long since been busted through scientific reasoning.
- The other classic Guinness draught stout beer varieties are Guinness Over the Moon Milk Stout, Guinness Blonde, Guinness Extra Stout, and more.
We recommend you buy a bottle and know the true alcohol content of this beer and what it tastes like to get the full picture.