In 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on a small, unused brewery in St. James’s Gate, Dublin. Leasing the space cost him just 100 pounds, with an annual rent of 45 pounds, and gave him rights to water from the Wicklow mountains, which would become crucial to the brewery’s future.
The brewery is rich with history, so much so that it has its own full-time archivist on site to maintain documents (including that 9,000-year lease) essential to Guinness’ history as well as things like the brewery’s original brewing books (with the original recipe for Guinness inside), and some of the first bottles the beer was packaged in. Having a full-time archivist isn’t something that many breweries choose to invest in, but when you see everything Guinness has in its archives, you immediately understand why it’s something they’ve chosen to invest in.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours in the archives in Dublin and see and touch some of Guinness’ history. Take a look at the gallery, to get a glimpse into the history of Guinness and a little bit of a look at what it has in store.