Ireland’s most famous export got a rousing 250th birthday cheer this evening from thousands of VIPs who gathered in the Guinness brewery in Dublin to mark the anniversary. Welsh crooner Tom Jones led the festivities at the St James’s Gate brewery by raising a glass in honour of its founder, Arthur Guinness, at exactly 17:59, and then broke into a rendition of "It’s Not Unusual". Simultaneously, the world’s most famous stout was toasted at ceremonies in New York, Lagos and Kuala Lumpur, and in pubs throughout the world. Diageo, the multinational drink company that now owns Guinness, predicted that 50 million people around the world would join in the toast.
For staff in the brewery, today was a normal working day, at least until tea-time when 500 workers and suppliers were invited to watch proceedings on a giant screen. The Hon Desmond Guinness – the great, great, great, great grandson of Arthur – marked the day at a low-key event in Leixlip, Co Kildare, where the first Guinness brewery was located.
A full schedule of events is available at http://www.guinness.com