Friday, April 23, 2021

The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

 This is the first book I have read by author Stephen Mansfield and I can report that I found it very interesting. It was Guinness that attracted me to the book cover and upon picking it up, found I had read several pages whilst leaning against the bookshelves at my local library. Why not bring it home?

This is story about the humble beginnings for Arthur Guinness’ career in brewing beer. While many people are under the impression that Arthur started up the family business after acquiring long lease on St James Gate, you will be quite engaged to read about the real beginnings of his brewing experience. Arthur had roughly 25 years of experience before he started up at St James Gate. As a matter of fact, he brought hops from his family home in Celbridge and began brewing in Dublin after years of experience with his father and on his own talent.

The company treated the employees very well. You’ve read or heard about the benefits provided by Google to their employees? The Guinness family were the precursors for that business model.

Guinness IS good for you!

Each of the facts I listed below is written about in detail in this book, telling of the circumstances.

From the book
Some Guinness facts:

* More than ten million glasses of Guinness are consumed each day worldwide. That is nearly two billion pints a year.

* In 1759, Arthur Guinness founded the Guinness brewery in Dublin by signing a lease for famous property St James Gate – a lease that has given him rights to that property for nine thousand years!

* It is a myth that the water for brewing Guinness comes from the River Liffey. Most of the water comes from the streams of the Wicklow Mountains which lies just south of Dublin .

* A Guinness worker during the 1920s enjoyed full medical and dental care, massage services, reading rooms, subsidized meals, a company funded pension, subsidies for funeral expenses, educational benefits, free concerts and lectures and a guaranteed two pints of Guinness beer a day.

* During World War I, Guinness guaranteed all of its employees who served in uniform that their jobs would be waiting for them when they returned home. Guinness also paid half salaries to the family of each man who served.

* A Guinness chief medical officer, Dr John Lumsden, personally visited thousands of Dublin homes in 1900 and used what he learned to help the company fight disease, squalor and ignorance. These efforts also led to the establishment of the Irish version of the Red Cross, for which Dr. Lumsden was knighted by King George V.

Guinness was known for its care of its employees, One Guinness family member who headed the brewery said, “You cannot make money from people unless you are willing for people to make money from you.

There were so many, “Oh I didn’t know that, how interesting” moments that I would stop and call out to Doug, “Listen to this” and proceed to share parts of this book.

We had been fortunate to have a family vacation in Ireland that took us to Arthur Guinness’ hometown of Celbridge and we enjoyed a pint there, talking to the bar maid about the town history, sipping our pints in the old pub on a chilly afternoon. We also took a tour of the brewery in Dublin and have our photo at the famous St James Gate. The tour was great but I wish I had read this book prior to going to Ireland .

A good read – I recommend it!

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday and Shelleyrae at BookdOut for the Nonfiction Reader challenge.

Catergory/Genre: Food as it's listed under food and cookbooks on Amazon

 The Nonfiction Reader Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.  Check out the sign up post and info HERE. The challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2021. You can join in anytime!


  1. Wow! What an interesting book! All company owners should run their company like that!

    1. Vicki, I agree. The benefits of being with Guinness was amazing. We enjoyed the tour of the facility.

  2. Oh this sounds fascinating! While I do enjoy a good pint of Guinness I know just about nothing of the history of the family or the business. Definitely adding this to my TBR!

  3. Oh, this makes me want to go back to Ireland!

    My husband's grandfather and uncle worked at Busch breweries and had an allotment of beer. Early on, they brought beer home in a special beer bucket each day. By the end of their careers, it was a 24-pack of cans on Friday night.

  4. unusual looking cover - cheers


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