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Is Guinness Beer Related to the Guinness Book of World Records?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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The Guinness Book of World Records is intimately tied to the famous Guinness Brewery, known in particularly for its heady stout beer. The beer long precedes the book. The beer was brewed in the beginning of the 18th century. The book, on the other hand, was not published until 1955.

The Guinness Brewery can only claim partial responsibility for the book. Sir Hugh Beaver was, in 1954, the managing director of the Brewery. On a hunting trip, he got in an argument with a friend regarding the relative quickness of the plover and the grouse. Each man took a stand on which bird was the quickest. Sir Hugh considered the argument upon returning from his trip and felt what was needed was a book that would answer such questions.

In 1951, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter had started a publishing company to research such questions and supply them to periodicals. They had written an article on an athlete employed at Guinness, Christopher Chataway. Chataway introduced Sir Hugh to the brothers. The meeting culminated in a partnership and the beginning of Guinness Superlatives, a publishing company.

The first book sold extremely well, inspiring both the publishing company and the McWhirters to set forth on writing an annual book. In 1975, however, the once happy partnership between the brothers and Guinness ended. Ross McWhirter argued with the Guinness Company regarding their stance on the terrorist attacks being conducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in London. He offered a reward for information regarding the terrorists and was murdered a few weeks later.

The Guinness Book of World Records holds some of its own records. For instance, it is the book most frequently stolen from libraries. As well, it is the world’s highest selling copyrighted book, with over 100 million books sold in over 30 languages.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a CulturalWorld.org contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon998819 — On Sep 01, 2017

So.... which is faster, the plover or the grouse?

By ShadowGenius — On Jan 30, 2011


As long as people disagree on things and take them personally, there will always be bloodshed. Sit them down together and have a few Guinnesses over the matter though, and things will be peachy.

By Leonidas226 — On Jan 29, 2011

It seems like the history of the Guinness book is as perilous and interesting as the recent history of Irish politics. It is to be hoped that matters will continue to settle there, in a peaceful resolution for all sides.

By JavaGhoul — On Jan 28, 2011

Guinness is an acquired taste. I am Irish, and felt like less than a man after being unable to finish a Guinness beer, so I forced myself to become acquainted to the taste one Christmas. Now I love it. Ordering a Guinness at any pub will garner you a decent amount of respect, I guarantee it.

By BioNerd — On Jan 27, 2011

The Guinness family is an old and prominent Dublin Irish family with a rich heritage. Many of the Guinnesses have become prominent figures, such as the actor Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobie in the original Star Wars, or Oz Guinness, the great author and theologian. This is just one example of great Irish families that have blessed the world.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a CulturalWorld.org contributor, Tricia...
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