Monday night saw the club host its first guest [non club member] speaker by Zoom. Given the ability to have speakers who are not in Auckland, or possibly even in New Zealand, its very likely we will have more such occasions in the future. 
Rod Smith, author of Guinness Down Under, took members through the history of what is an iconic company and brew. Started by Richard Guinness in 1757 the company moved to its current site at St James Gate, Dublin in 1759, brewing ale which given general town water supply quality was a safer drink than water.  The recipe for the porter that the company is now world famous for came from London.
Production was limited by heavy excise tax and tariffs on exports to England and by the time Richard Guinness died in 1766 around 22,479 barrels were being produced per year. The removal of those restraints and good management by successive generations of the Guinness family saw that production rise to over 2 million barrels. Brewed in fifty countries under license, that has continued to grow and over 9 million glasses of Guinness are poured around the world every day using the “double gas” method first developed in the 1960s and replacing the cask conditioned method used previously. 
The company was expanded by a strong export policy. Guinness first came to Hobart in 1824 and by 1851 was being imported into Nelson. The company also entered into a range of bottling arrangements where the brew was bottled in the importing countries often under the name of the bottler rather than the brewer. New Zealand first brewed the beer to bottle here in 1960 but it was only in the 1990’s when we started brewing draught Guinness that the brand really took off.
While the first four generation of the Guinness family were directly involved in the production of the beer, as is often the way management and ownership of the company has passed out of family hands with only 5% of shares now held by the family. 
In New Zealand production of the draught product is based at the Lion facilities in East Tamaki. Bottles and cans continue to be imported from Dublin. 
If anybody who would like to buy a copy of Guinness Down Under – please email Rod at and he will arrange. Cost is $30 (which includes postage) payable by internet banking. He’ll advise the bank account number.