Guinness PLC

Guinness PLC
Manufacturer of distilled liquors and brewer of a distinctive, dark, creamy stout.

It originated in Dublin, where Arthur Guinness bought a small brewery in the late 18th century. From 1799 the brewery produced only Guinness stout, which became known as the national beer of Ireland. Incorporated in 1886 as Arthur Guinness Son and Co. Ltd., it did not become a public limited company until 1982. In 1955, to help settle trivia disputes in pubs, it began publishing The Guinness Book of Records, which has become perhaps the best-selling book (annually) in the world. In 1997 it merged with Grand Metropolitan PLC, the parent company of Burger King, to form the London-based Diageo PLC.

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▪ Irish company
formerly (1982–86)  Arthur Guinness & Sons PLC  and  (1886–1982)  Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd. 

      manufacturer of distilled liquors and brewer of a distinctive dark and creamy stout. Headquarters, formerly in Dublin, are now in London. The company was incorporated in 1886 as Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd. and became a public limited company in 1982.

      Guinness was founded when Arthur Guinness bought a small brewery in Dublin in 1759. At first the brewery produced a variety of ales and beers, but in 1799 it was decided to concentrate exclusively on porter, a dark beer with a rich head. The beer, later known as stout, prospered and came to be regarded as the national beer of Ireland. Guinness died in 1803, and his son Arthur took over the family business and greatly expanded sales to Great Britain. By 1833 Guinness was the largest brewery in Ireland.

      In 1855 Arthur's son Benjamin Lee Guinness (Guinness, Sir Benjamin Lee, 1st Baronet) took over the company upon his father's death. The beer had long had a strong following in the British Isles, and Benjamin spread its fame overseas. Guinness's stout gained a reputation for its nutritional and invigorating properties, and by 1883 the company was the world's largest brewery. A brewery opened at Park Royal in London in 1936 was soon outproducing the Dublin site. In the 1950s the company began producing Harp lager to fill demand for lighter brews. Guinness now sells its products worldwide in 150 countries and has more than 50 breweries abroad.

      In 1985 the firm acquired Arthur Bell & Sons PLC, a distiller of Scotch whisky, and in 1986 it bought The Distillers Co. PLC, which was the largest Scotch distiller in the world. Guinness's use of clandestine and apparently illegal stock transactions in acquiring Distillers created a major corporate scandal when these acts became known to the public.

      Guinness also acquired distillers and brewers in Spain, Venezuela, Germany, France, and the United States, securing substantial percentages of the world Scotch, rum, and gin markets. In addition to brewing and distilling, Guinness has interests in luxury goods and leisure and holiday activities. In 1955 the company began publishing The Guinness Book of Records. Originally conceived to help settle trivia disputes in pubs, the book is now published worldwide.

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Universalium. 2010.

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