Guinness Crosses The Pond With New Brew

Irish import Guinness has crossed the pond to America to brew new ales.

Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Home of Arnold Palmer, Rolling Rock and…Guinness?! That’s the news from the Diageo-owned Irish ale company, which will begin brewing in America for their new “Discovery Series.”


Print ads in Playboy magazine claim that “the most talked about American blonde in years…will come from a most unexpected source.” The blonde they reference is Guinness Blonde American Lager, a “fusion brew” that blends American lager brewing with Guinness expertise. So they say.

The beer’s description will appeal to approximately 0.1% of Guinness drinkers. While I’m all for expanding your market reach, this one seems like a stretch. A Diageo representative describes Guinness Blonde as a moderately hoppy lager with a hint of “biscuity” flavor. Pretty sure that description also applies to beers like Hamm’s, Pabst and, well, Rolling Rock.

Is your average Coors-drinking American going to fill the cooler for his fishing trip with Guinness Blonde instead? Is your weird uncle going to forgo his usual Budweiser while screaming at the baseball game on TV? On the flip side, is any self-respecting Guinness drinker going to be caught dead with a bottle of this stuff?

Don’t forget that this is Guinness’ second foray into the lager market. Blonde follows in the prestigious footsteps of Guinness Black Lager, which might still be collecting dust on a shelf at a liquor store near you.

Diageo claims that they’re looking to meet a market demand for “the new, the different and interesting.” Apparently they think the best way to do this is to make what sounds like the same beer hundreds of other companies are already brewing. At least now you can make a black and tan by pouring some Guinness into a glass of Guinness, which has some novelty value, I suppose.

If you’re actually looking forward to Guinness Blonde American Lager, take comfort in knowing that it’ll be produced in the same brewery as Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It doesn’t get much more “American” than that, and I’m a sucker for authenticity.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA