What Musical Instrument Appears on the Label of Guinness Beer?

As a beer lover, you should know what musical instrument appears on the label of Guinness beer, especially if it is one of your favorite brews. Guinness is a classic stout loved by most beer enthusiasts; even those who don’t like stout appreciate its masterpiece.

Musical instruments of guinness beer

Here, we will discuss the significance of the harp on the Guinness logo and explore other important details about this classic beverage.

What Musical Instrument Is Featured on the Label of Guinness Beer?

The label of Guinness beer features the iconic harp — a symbol that indicates the Irish heritage of the classic beer. Guinness is one of the oldest and most popular beers, having featured as a draft beer in Irish pubs as far back as the 1700s.

However, it took more than 100 years before the first bottled Guinness existed, in 1862, brandishing the now-famous golden harp. As you’d notice on the bottle or any product of Guinness beer, this musical instrument is still on its logo. Even after many adjustments to the logo, the harp has never left.

The harp design on the first set of Guinness bottles, in 1862, happened to contain more details, resembling the typical musical instrument. Indeed, there have been subtle changes over the years, but the harp remains. Today, the current harp on the Guinness bottle label is bolder and bright golden with clearer intricate designs over a dark background.

What Is Guinness Harp Logo History?

The logo history traces back to the iconic Guinness golden harp from the 14th century called Brian Boru or O’neill harp. The harp has always been associated with Ireland’s culture, art, and history. In fact, according to history, it was a representation of Ireland’s sovereignty.

History of guinness harp logo

We can all agree that this harp has long been associated with the history of the Republic of Ireland long before Guinness existed. To this day, that medieval Irish harp, Brian Boru, is still on display at Trinity College Dublin in the long room. In fact, the harp is more or less a national symbol, as this harp is present on the emblem of the Republic of Ireland.

However, Guinness was able to trademark this symbol early enough, forcing Ireland to make adjustments to its national emblem to avoid copyright issues. While this Guinness sign has its strings facing the left side like the original harp, the one on Ireland’s emblem faces the right side.

– Origin of Guinness Beer

The story of Guinness started in 1759 when Arthur Guinness bought a small brewery, Saint James’ Gate Brewery, in Dublin, Ireland. Initially, the brewery focused on brewing different ales and beers until 1799, when the company turned all attention to fine-tuning and modifying dark English porters.

Arthur Guinness continued to find ways to improve his brew until he achieved the dry Irish stout known as Guinness. This beer immediately achieved great success throughout Ireland. Unlike most porters, Guinness beer features roasted unmalted barleys, which gives it a darker appearance with a more pronounced finish.

After Arthur Guinness’s death in 1803, his son took over and the business continued to grow. In a short while, it became the largest brewing company in Ireland and the go-to beer in most bars and pubs all over Great Britain. Today, Guinness is brewed in about 50 different countries and is available for sale in more than 150 countries.

Is There a Relation Between Harp Beer and Guinness?

Yes, Harp beer is related to Guinness. Like Guinness beer, Harp lager has an Irish origin. In fact, it was first introduced by Guinness in 1960. It was produced in response to the growing interest of Irish beer lovers in lagers.

Guinness and harp beer are related

Guinness converted its brewery in Dundalk to a lager brewing plant solely for brewing the Harp beer. In 2005, Harp beer separated from Guinness, and later on, its brewing plant in Dundalk shut down. Since then, Harp lager is now majorly brewed in Dublin.

– What Do People Call Harp Beer and Guinness?

A mixture of Harp beer and Guinness beer is called “Black and Tan.” Black and Tan is a popular beverage across the United States, and you can find it in different bars and brewpubs. As a homebrewer, you can also create one at home.

The two beers make perfect layers inside your beer glass if you pour them correctly. The beer with the lighter density will float on the other one with a greater density. In this case, the Guinness beer will float on top of the Harp beer.

As you drink the Guinness and Harp Black and Tan, the layers remain separated. With every sip, you will notice a difference in flavors and aromas. The first sip will almost be the complete opposite of the last.

Why Is Guinness Beer So Special?

Unlike any beer, this beer uses a high quantity of barleys which puts it among the highest fiber-containing beer. You must have noticed that old heads and even young ones all claim to enjoy Guinness. Perhaps you are still new to beer drinking; then you may wonder what’s special about this brew.

Why is guinness beer special

In addition to this, the original brewers of Guinness had always wanted to create the perfect brew. Guess what? Guinness is the first brewery to employ scientists to assist them in obtaining the perfect formula for this evergreen beer.

Another thing that makes Guinness special is its rich history; just imagine a beer having its history intertwined with that of a nation. The beer has been in production for over 250 years, yet it remains one of the most sought-after beers worldwide. Now, if that’s not special, perhaps we need an overhaul of the meaning of the word special.

– What Beer Style Is Guinness?

Guinness is a traditional Irish dry stout with a dark ruby-red color. Like a typical stout, Guinness is dark, with ruby red computation and a thick, rich head, which often appears tan. The flavor denotes hints of coffee and chocolate. Upon drinking, it indicates malt sweetness with a burnt bittering aftertaste.

The beer is brewed using the typical beer brewing ingredients; barley, hops, and water with unique ale yeast. There is no debate about the top-notch brewing technique adopted in brewing, as Guinness is one of the best beers in the world.

– How Can You Enjoy Guinness Beer Best?

Like any beer and most other beverages, Guinness is best enjoyed chilled. However, since it’s a typical stout, the drinking temperature needs to be properly regulated — it shouldn’t be too cold lest it warps its flavors. The ideal serving temperature for Guinness is about 40 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enjoy guinness beer best

Drinking the beer at a lower temperature will mask some of its exciting taste and flavors. With that being said, an easy way to achieve this is to pour a chilled bottle of Guinness into a room-temperature glass. As you take each sip or gulp of this classic, your tongue enjoys and appreciates the malt sweetness coupled with its hoppy bitterness, exhibiting notes of chocolate and coffee.

In Irish pubs, Guinness is often served from a nitrogen-infused keg. Also, it is poured twice to reduce the head so you can quickly start to gulp and enjoy your drink without waiting. When drinking at home, either from a can or a bottle, you can adopt this method of pouring it twice or just tilt the glass and slowly empty the contents of the container into your glass.

– Can Beginners Drink Guinness Beer?

Indeed, Guinness is a classic, but it might not be the best choice for those who are just starting to drink beer. Often, non-beer drinkers get introduced to beer by drinking lagers because of their mild flavor and taste. Some even describe Guinness as a full meal in a glass, but that is not the case.

Guinness is a low-calorie beer with 125 calories in a typical 12-ounce bottle. Also, its alcohol level is moderate at 4.2 percent. But because of its dark color and rich, dense head, many new drinkers tend to shy away from it, sticking to pale-colored lagers instead. But as soon as they are introduced to Guinness, they tend to stick to it cause its nothing short of a masterclass.


Guinness is a classic beer with a rich history embedded in Irish culture. This article provides detailed information on the relationship between the iconic harp on the label of Guinness and the beer itself. Let’s quickly go over all the article entails.

  • The Guinness label has showcased the iconic harp since 1862 on the first set of bottled Guinness beer.
  • Though the harp’s design has undergone a series of adjustments and modifications, it has never left the Guinness logo since its inception.
  • The harp on the Guinness label is the same as the official national emblem of the Republic of Ireland.
  • Though Guinness beer is now brewed in more than 100 countries, it still retains its Irish heritage; the beer is more or less a staple on the streets of Dublin, Ireland.
  • As we often tend to group beers into ales or lagers, Guinness is classified under a group of strong dark ales known as stouts.

On your next visit to the bar, order and enjoy a refreshing Guinness stout — Cheers!

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