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Unveiling the Enigmatic Origins of “Arthur’s Day”: Guinness’s Forgotten Holiday

Uncover the fascinating story of Arthur’s Day: A holiday created by Guinness

Guinness, the beloved Irish beer brand, has a rich history that extends beyond its famous brews. One fascinating chapter in Guinness’ legacy is the creation of its own short-lived holiday known as “Arthur’s Day. In this article, we delve into the intriguing story behind this unique celebration and explore the reasons why it eventually faded into obscurity.

The birth of Arthur Guinness and the brewing empire

Arthur Guinness, the visionary behind the iconic beer brand, was born in 1725. In County Kildare, Ireland, he established an ale brewery with a modest inheritance of £100 from his godfather, Archbishop Price. Despite the challenging brewing landscape of the time, Arthur Guinness took a leap of faith and moved to Dublin in 1759.
Arthur’s gamble paid off. Over time, his brewery flourished and grew into the industry giant we know today. While Guinness Original and Guinness Extra Stout, two of the brand’s most popular products, weren’t created until 1821, it was Arthur Guinness who laid the foundation for this remarkable success story.

The advent of Arthur’s Day

In 2009, Guinness’ parent company, Diageo, introduced “Arthur’s Day” as a special holiday to honor the visionary founder and his enduring legacy. The event was celebrated annually, with guests encouraged to raise a pint to Arthur Guinness at precisely 5:59 p.m., in reference to the year the company was founded.
Initially, Arthur’s Day was more of an emblematic celebration than a full-fledged holiday. However, pub-goers quickly embraced the festive spirit surrounding the occasion. Over the years, the event grew in popularity and evolved into a beer-centric counterpart to St. Patrick’s Day, attracting enthusiastic participants eager to join in the revelry.

A marketing triumph and its critics

While “Arthur’s Day” began as a marketing effort to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness’s 9,000-year lease on his Dublin brewery, it proved to be a resounding success. Guinness enhanced the celebrations with live music performances and other sponsored activities, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Still, the holiday faced its fair share of criticism. Critics argued that the event promoted irresponsible drinking habits and contributed to an increase in alcohol-related injuries. As the debate over the impact of the holiday intensified, the Guinness team ultimately made the difficult decision to discontinue Arthur’s Day.

The legacy of Arthur Guinness and the enduring spirit of Guinness

While Arthur’s Day may have faded into the annals of history, the legacy of Arthur Guinness and the enduring spirit of Guinness continue to thrive. Beer lovers and Guinness aficionados can always raise a glass to Arthur Guinness and toast his remarkable contributions.
Today, Guinness is an iconic symbol of Irish brewing excellence, loved by millions around the world. Its rich heritage, commitment to quality and distinctive taste ensure that the Guinness legacy lives on, transcending the boundaries of time and fleeting holidays.

Celebrate Guinness, embrace its remarkable story

In conclusion, the story of Arthur’s Day provides a fascinating insight into the history of Guinness and the enduring influence of its visionary founder. While the holiday itself may have come to an end, it serves as a reminder of the brand’s enduring legacy and the enduring joy that Guinness brings to beer lovers around the world.
So the next time you raise a pint of Guinness to celebrate, take a moment to reflect on the remarkable story of Arthur Guinness and the brewing empire he built. Let his pioneering spirit and unwavering determination inspire you as you savor the distinctive flavors of this iconic Irish beer.
Cheers to Arthur Guinness and the enduring Guinness legacy!


What was “Arthur’s Day”?

“Arthur’s Day was a holiday created by Guinness to celebrate the founder of the Guinness beer and company, Arthur Guinness. It was an annual event where guests were encouraged to raise a pint to Arthur Guinness at 17:59 (5:59 p.m.) to commemorate the year the company was founded.

When was Arthur’s Day celebrated?

“Arthur’s Day was celebrated annually from 2009 to 2013. It was a five-year tradition that gained popularity during its existence.

Why did Guinness create Arthur’s Day?

Guinness’s parent company, Diageo, introduced “Arthur’s Day” as a marketing initiative to honor the legacy of Arthur Guinness and commemorate the 250th anniversary of his lease of the Dublin brewery. It was a way to pay tribute to the founder and engage pub-goers in a festive celebration.

What led to the cancellation of Arthur’s Day?

The holiday was criticized for encouraging excessive drinking and contributing to alcohol-related injuries. As the debate about its impact escalated, the Guinness team decided to discontinue Arthur’s Day and focus on other initiatives.

Can Arthur’s Day still be celebrated?

Although “Arthur’s Day” is no longer an official holiday, people can still raise a glass to Arthur Guinness and celebrate his legacy at any time. Guinness as a brand continues to thrive, and enthusiasts can enjoy its products and the remarkable story behind them.

What is the significance of Arthur Guinness to the brewing industry?

Arthur Guinness played a pivotal role in the brewing industry. He founded the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, laying the foundation for the iconic brand we know today. His risk-taking, determination and entrepreneurial spirit paved the way for Guinness to become a global symbol of brewing excellence.

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