We were recently reminded there are three variants of Guinness available from the major stockists (Guinness Draught, Guinness Stout/Original and Guinness Foreign Extra) and thought a primer was in order to seperate the differences. Guinness Draught is the most ubiquitous, available from all five of the major supermarkets, with the Stout and Foreign Extra only stocked in ASDA and Sainsbury’s.
Guinness Stout is actually the Original Guinness, and although Guinness says the same recipe has been used since the early 18th Century it has had a few tweaks along the way to keep it up to date. The most noticeable of these are the types of Malt and Barley used to create the brew. The beer itself is more sturdy than its Draught cousin, and although it has still got Carbon Dioxide added it’s not as smooth as Draught. Favoured by ‘craft’ beer drinkers as far as authenticity goes, this is the one to go for. [ Guinness Stout ]
Created in the early 1960’s Guinness Draught is available up and down the country making it by far the most popular of the three types. The secret to Guinness Draught is that rather than just adding Carbon Dioxide to create the bubbles Noitrogen is added too. The Nitrogen has the effect of creating smaller bubbles which give this beer its famous smooth body and creamy head. [ Guinness Draught ]
Foreign Extra was created to be exported around the world and like IPA beers this means it is slightly stronger (originally to preserve it better on long journeys). Although in the U.K. the ABV is around 6% it can shoot up to nearly 8% when the beer is brewed ‘under license’ elsewhere in the world. Although relatively unknown here FES makes up almost 50% of sales throughout the world. [ Guinness FES ]