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Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint Hardcover – October 5, 2007
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"...should be on the shelf of anyone who professes to want to learn more about the last 250 years of brewing" (What's Brewing, December 2007)
"...an absorbing tale, brilliantly handled." (New Imbiber, December 2007)
"This is a thoroughly enjoyable, complete chronicle of a great been business." (World Business, December 2007)
From the Inside Flap
For millions of beer lovers the world over, a properly poured pint of Guinness Stout is as close to perfection as beer gets. Each year, fans of the legendary black liquidation enjoy two billion pints of the beer known for its distinctive creamy head and rich drinkability. Ireland's most famous export, Guinness Stoutand the people who have brewed ithold a unique place in the history of beer, business, and Ireland itself.
They say that good things come to those who wait. When you wait on a perfectly poured pint of Guinness Stout, you know you're getting something good. It's more than just a pint of beer; it's a mouthwatering visual presentation of the quality and taste you're about to enjoy. And millions wait patiently for their pint every day. To find out why, famed beer and beverage writer Bill Yenne talks to everyone from Guinness's master brewer to typical pubgoers about the beer they hold dear. Whatever magic makes it so delicious, it's powerful enough to soothe the souls of beer lovers from Dublin to Boston to Buenos Aires to Lagos, and everywhere in between.
But Guinness is more than a delicious beverage, it's also the name of the remarkable family of brewers and entrepreneurs whose story is worthy of legend, and who occupy a prominent place in Irish history. In Guinness, Yenne traces the 250-year tale of the family and its namesake beer. Beginning with Arthur Guinness, the entrepreneur patriarch who first began brewing at St. James's Gate, Dublin, in 1759, the story follows succeeding generations of the Guinness family through the years. Yenne follows not just the fortunes of the family Guinness, but also the development of the brand and the beerfrom Arthur's earliest porter to the beer that is enjoyed in 150 countries today.
For Guinness aficionados, this tale offers an inside look at a legendary brewing company and the craftsmanship and pride that go into every keg. For anyone who hopes to keep their business vibrant and dynamic for the next few centuries, the book offers important lessons on continuity, quality, and innovation. For everyone who loves a good beer story, Guinness offers a perfect pint more than two centuries in the pouring.
Sit back and enjoy.
More About the Author
General Wesley Clark, US Army (Ret), former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, called Yenne's recent biography of Alexander the Great, the "best yet." Of his biography of Julius Caesar, Philip Delves Broughton wrote in the "Wall Street Journal" that "Yenne is excellent at describing Caesar in battle, mingling tactics and strategy with the smells and sounds of war." The New Yorker wrote of Sitting Bull, Yenne's biography of the great Lakota leader, that it "excels as a study in leadership." This book was named to the number 14 spot in Amazon's "100 Best Books of the Year" when it was released.
Meanwhile, Yenne's dual biography of Dick Bong and Tommy McGuire, Aces High: The Heroic Story of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II was described by pilot and best-selling author Dan Roam as "the greatest flying story of all time."
Yenne has also written extensively about the history of beer and brewing. His "Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint," was listed among the top business books of the year by "Condé Nast Portfolio Magazine," while the same publication rated the book as its top pick for "Cocktail Conversation."
Yenne's novels have included the "Bladen Cole" Westerns; an alternate history about General George Patton entitled "A Damned Fine War;" and the "Raptor Force" trilogy, an action-adventure series.
Bill Yenne lives in San Francisco, California, and on the web at www.BillYenne.com
Top Customer Reviews
In addition to brewing one of the great beers of the world, Guinness also proved adept at developing markets and distribution systems, marketing their beverages in changing times, adapting products to the realities of markets, and using technology to improve both products and distribution.
Brewing was an industry that could achieve economies of scale before the Industrial Revolution. The Guinness family understood that. But they also understood that achieving great scale was worthless if you didn't also develop markets where people could drink your product and distribution systems to get it there.
Throughout the history of the firm, Guinness has been willing to adapt products to the need of the market. India Pale Ale, for example, was a hoppier product and one higher in alcohol content than other products so that it would withstand the ocean voyage to India. When lagers became popular, Guinness began producing lagers.
The story of Guinness, like the story of every successful and long-lived business is a story of good decisions and bits of good luck. It was a good decision, for example, to make a strong effort to establish Guinness as a brand in the days when the more dominant brands were local bottlers.
But luck also kicked in at various times in the company's history. In England in the 19th Century most pubs were "tied" houses, meaning that they were tied to a specific brewery.Read more ›
In short, the book lacks depth. Bill Yenne claims to have spent many weeks in the Guinness archives, but it seems that he didn't spend time anywhere else to either back up or add color to his factoids. The book alternates between heroic tales of the Guinness family to long recitals of sales figures. It seems as he uncritically accepted and repeated whatever he ran across, and did not consult any sources outside of the Guinness archive. Everything is rosy in his world of Guinness. I would like to have seen what this book would have turned out like in the hands of an author like Maureen Ogle or James B. Stewart (Disney War)
The book is a pretty easy read. I was able to finish it in a few nights, although I had to struggle to stick with it, because it was so unrelentingly shallow.
How often does one wait for a writer to confirm what we already know. I knew Guinness beer was magical, and Author Bill Yenne confirms it in his new book. This easy read is a must for anyone with an interest in beer, or the Guinness company. "Guinness" takes you from the simple beginnings of Guinness brewing at St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland, through it's 250 year history.
Read about the Guinness brewing family, and their relationship to beer and modern Irish history. Consider the observations of the Guinness world "Travelers" of 100 years ago, and the rattly thing in today's can of Guinness, simply called a "widget".
This was a fun book for me. I must admit, I believe in the perfect pint, and this seems like the perfect book.
Lynn Hoffman, author The Short Course in Beer
For example, what other brand of beer (or brand of *anything* for that matter) can claim a 250 year pedigree, has been a staple of the Royal Army's "critical" supply chain around the globe for centuries, owned it's own railroad AND shipping line, treats malaria as well as the common cold (allegedly, but who's checking?), AND comes from the same family as the Guinness Book of World Records?
I knew none of these things before picking up this book (except how much I loved Guinness). Now I know enough to make my trips to the local pub not only gastronomically satisfying, but culturally and intellectually satisfying as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son is a long-time Guiness drinker and is enjoying the book on the Guiness Family and history of the brew. Read morePublished on March 9, 2009 by Joyce Hall
The perfect pint of Guinness takes exactly 119.5 seconds to pour. However, you would be hard-pressed to recount even a fraction of the Guinness story within that time frame. Read morePublished on September 15, 2008 by Rolf Dobelli
This a great addition to any Guinness Enthusiast's collection!! It's a very informative book with lots of great pics!!Published on July 26, 2008 by Jessica L. Nordenbrock
I think it is a challenge to write a compelling book of history but by selecting a subject like beer, and an internationally respected brand (Guinness), Mr. Read morePublished on November 4, 2007 by Jim Matherly
After reading this book, I am planning on it being my signature gift for the holidays! It will make a great stocking stuffer for my beer drinking friends. Read morePublished on October 29, 2007 by A Bolos
Bill Yenne's Guinness: The 250 Year Quest for the Perfect Pint is a superb read. Yenne looks at the storied history of Guinness and gives the reader a tour from the beginning,... Read morePublished on October 29, 2007 by Brian