Guinness in quest for the perfect pint

LAB PLAN: New HQ for beer testers

Cormac Murphy

GUINNESS drinkers can look forward to an even tastier pint of the black stuff.

Parent company Diageo has applied to Dublin City Council to build a quality assurance laboratory, ensuring drinks continue to meet highest standards.

The application seeks permission to build a new control room at St James's Gate, Dublin.

The development will involve demolition of the existing control room and the construction of a new extension.


Guinness is known for its stringent testing regime, with tasters meeting every morning at the brewery to sample the product.

Speaking previously, the company's master brewer Fergal Murray said: "There are checks at each stage along the way, from brew house to fermentation to maturation to bright beer to keg.

"Taste is the ultimate check. "We are all trained to know what perfect beer tastes like.

"When you are drinking a pint of stout, what you are looking for first of all is that ruby red with a creamy head on the top.

"When you taste it, you are looking for a gentle tingle of sweetness on the front of the tongue, then a full-flavoured balance going down the back of the throat, bringing out the bitterness of the hop and the roasted flavour of the barley.

"When you drink, it should explode on your taste buds."

Diageo's application with the council was lodged on December 7, with a decision due in early February.

Included in the plans is provision for a new laboratory extraction vent to be fitted to the southern section of the existing building, projecting 3m above the roof level of the fifth floor.

The extension is to be finished in reconstituted stone cladding.

The ingredients of Guinness are the same as they have been for centuries -- water from the Dublin mountains, Irish malt barley and imported hops and yeast.


Mr Murray added: "Like chefs, we are always trying to find ways of doing it better.

"Everything from temperature to bitterness is analysed and checked, but the human element in tasting and testing is still very much there.

"The modern way of producing beer gives us extraordinary consistency around the world from Tallaght to Tanzania."