December 31st isn't just the day we celebrate the end of the year—it's the day we should all be celebrating the world's greatest stout.
The day is a pivotal anniversary in Guinness history—one that very specifically and awesomely looks ahead to the next 8,745 years full of delicious foamy dark beer.
A 9,000 Year Long PromiseWikimedia Commons/Greenstreetm/Creative Commons
The Guinness factory is 255 years old in 2015. Arthur Guinness signed the lease for it on December 31, 1759.
And the lease (pictured) wasn't just any old lease—it's a 9,000 year long lease. So come hell, high water, or World War whatever, Guinness will be making beer at the St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin for 8,745 more years.
Forbidden To DepartPeter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Even the demands of majority partners Diageo PLC were not enough to break the 9,000 year old lease.
When Diageo proposed closing St. James's Gate Brewery in favor of cheaper locations outside of Dublin, there was a massive outcry over the potential loss of such a high earning landmark. The city resolved the issue by red taping all the paperwork on the brewery—making it virtually impossible for Guinness to separate itself from the site.
Workforce Par ExcellencePeter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images
Guinness has always been a huge draw for Dublin. In the 1930s, Guinness was the 7th largest company in the world and was solely responsible for initially putting Ireland on the international economic map.
It also had some of the best benefits and welfare for its employees—unless you were Catholic. Then you were out of luck. The Anglo-Protestant Guinness wouldn't hire Catholics until the 1960s. Prior to then, even marrying a Catholic would get you booted out of the factory. They didn't mind selling to Catholics though.
Foaming At The Mouth (And Bank)Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
Even when Guinness first became a public company in 1886—it was already a major earner for Ireland. It was valued at six million pounds in the 1880s (which would translate into billions in today's figures).
And that was despite the fact that they refused to advertise during the 19th century. They also refused to offer any bulk discounts to bars or own any of their own pubs from which to sell their wares (like many of their contemporary competitors).
It Really Might Be Good For YouHolger Leue/Lonely Planet/Getty Images
By the 1920s it had to advertise to keep up with the growing international beer market. By the 1930s, it was famous for its slogans and witty adverts, including the infamous 'Guinness Is Good For You.'
Though Guinness backed away from that claim for awhile, recent studies are actually verifying that yes: Guinness might be good for you. Its antioxidant ingredients apparently help slow down the deposit of bad cholesterol in your system.
A Long LegacyWikimedia Commons/Morrisson 1917/Public Domain
Guinness certainly seems to have helped its founder Arthur Guinness live a long and productive life. He lived to the ripe old age of 78—a rarity in the 19th century.
He and Guinness matriarch Olivia Whitmore also had 21 children. Yes. His poor wife had 21 kids. Ten of his kids grew up to adulthood (life was seriously harsh back then). Three of those ten became brewers and followed in their father's footsteps. And yes, some of his descendants played a large part in the establishment of the beloved "Guinness Book of World Records."
A Longer Legacy Than You Might RealizePool/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Guinness isn't just steeped in the tradition of its founder. It might literally be steeped in its own tradition.
Though Guinness refuses to confirm or deny officially, it's rumored that Guinness batches work a bit like starter bread—a bit of the old is built up into the new. So every new batch that comes out of their factory, might have a teensy tiny bit of its most ancient brews in it. It'd be diluted down the centuries (and super pasteurized and filtered by this point), but still. That's cool.
The Trick Is In The CupCindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The antiquity of its potential starter and the pre-baking of some of its ingredients (especially barley) contribute to the classic beer of this most classic of stouts.
But the flavor is incomplete without the real glass. Guinness tulip pint glasses are specifically designed to optimize a Guinness draught's pressure, oxygenation, and ultimate bubble release. Guinness redesigned their already almost-perfect glass in 2010. And is slowly phasing out the old ones for the even more scientifically sound taller, narrower cups that refine their original shape and make their distinct flavor even better.
In Living ColorAfp/AFP/Getty Images
Guinness is often referred to as "the black stuff." But it's not actually black at all.
It foams into a brown. But Guinness specifically classes it s a deep shade of ruby. Which seems like a niggling and useless point of semantics until you realize that the color and body of a beer that makes it classifiable as a stout. So rock on ruby, rock on.
How To Pour A Perfect Pint Of Guinness
And finally, because, everyone should be able to hop behind the bar one day and pour their own perfect pint of shamrocking Guinness.