Guinness IPA?

…and in Nitro cans?
I have a couple bones to pick with this new Irish beer….

This label looks awfully close to the font and style of Noble Ale Works to me. Which was OK when it was variants of stout or a pale lager but now that Guinness has thrown their hat into the IPA ring, it seems to close for comfort right now.

Secondly, why would Guinness make an IPA anyway? Do they have leftover nitro widget cans that needed filling? And someone at Diageo HQ read an article about IPA’s being the “it” style?

I’m not some purist who can’t see IPA’s getting the nitro treatment but this seems tilted toward marketing and not toward making great beer.

Downscale then Upscale

First Guinness came out with an American Lager (which I have yet to try) in what seemed an effort to sway people away from the ailing light lagers that are leaking market share.  It seemed a really calculated move and not an organic, “Hey, we have a great lager that we should sell.”

Now they are targeting the other end of the marketing spectrum with 1759…..


Only 90,000 bottles were produced which to some breweries would be a mega-run and it will be the first of their new Signature Series and that name means the price will be higher, much higher.  $34.99.  You are paying for the peated whiskey malt and the chance to drink beer out of a champagne flute which is the glassware that Guinness suggests.


Irish-American Lager


I have nothing against the idea of brand extension on the face of it.  You make one type of pie and it’s a good pie, then make another flavor or do another pastry.  Same goes with beer.  You make a great stout, you should be able to also brew a black lager if you want to. Or even an Irish conglomerate spin on an American water lager.

Where brand extension goes awry is the “Why?’.  Are you doing it challenge yourself?  Cool.  Is it a style that complements your current offerings.  Again, cool.  Is it a stylistic one-off or seasonal?  Brew on then.

But when you are doing it because your “growth” is slowing or because the “market” demands it then consumers (and especially craft beer people) quickly see through it as a ploy and nothing more.  And to a certain extent, that is also fine if you are making a good beer for the wrong reason.  The reason being a mere grab at the wallet with NEW!

But what is sad is that there is a huge missed opportunity here.  Guinness could have done a peat smoked barley Irish rauchbier.  Or something else that utilizes a local ingredient or theme.  Instead they are doing a lowest common denominator “American” lager?  As if that is needed.  Quality Kolsch we need.  Quality Pilsner we need.  Quality blonde ales we need.  But a (presumably) adjunct heavy light lager?  I think that not-so-prized category is covered.

Review – Red Harvest Stout from Guinness


From Dublin comes another in what some may call brand extension and others a seasonal from Guinness. And thanks to the widget in the red on black designed can, you get that classic Guinness pour in a slightly tweaked version of the dry Irish stout.  Big and very white with a hint of cream head on this one.  Aroma is less noticeable here.  Some malt notes but muted. The taste is initially very similar to the regular but then a slight note of cranberry and a sweetness kick in and then becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.  A slight but noticeable spin on the dry Irish stout.


Xmas 2012 – Guinness / Generous Ale

We head to Ireland and a new holiday offering from Guinness, Generous Ale….

“Inspired by Arthur’s philanthropic legacy and devotion to generous, full-flavored beers, Guinness Generous Ale is special edition holiday beer that was developed in a traditional winter ale style, but with more body and the distinct roast for which Guinness Draught is known. With a rich amber appearance, the vanilla notes accent Guinness Generous Ale’s silky, yet vibrant taste.”

Guinness 250

I tasted the 250 from Guiness today.  Quite the odd beer.  The barkeeps were not enthused by it at all and I can see why.  It is the regular stout that is watered down with Irish spring water.  It is not bad at all.  But it does have a more carbonated/soda-esque taste to it.  With a nitro tap it might be even more pronounced.  Either way, I am not sure if it is a marketing ploy.