What You Didn't Know About The Holiday Guinness Once Created

Did you know that Guinness, the iconic Irish beer brand, once created its own short-lived holiday? That's right! According to Eat This, Not That!, in 2009 the company created a holiday called "Arthur's Day" to celebrate the founder of the Guinness beer and company. It was celebrated for about five years and disappeared in 2013. 

Arthur Guinness, according to the Guinness website, was born in 1725, and about 50 years later, set up an ale brewery in his birthplace of County Kildore, Ireland, using £100 that he inherited "from his godfather Archbishop Price." A few years later, in 1759, he took a chance and moved to Dublin, despite the times being hard for breweries. But his risk paid off well, in time flourishing into the industry dynamo we know today.

The products we know, Guinness Original and Guinness Extra Stout, did not appear on the scene until 1821, but make no mistake, Arthur Guinness started it all, and that clearly needed to be celebrated.

So how did one celebrate "Arthur's Day" and why don't they anymore?

According to The Guardian, the event was set up by what's now Guinness's parent company, Diageo, simply asking patrons to raise "a pint to founder Arthur Guinness, at 17.59 (5:59 p.m.), to mark the year of the company's establishment." It's more an emblem than a holiday, but as the site points out, pubgoers seemed to love it and enjoyed the celebratory nature. However, as the years went on, it became more like the beer-forward version of St. Patrick's Day, somehow turning a small celebration into a day of heavy drinking as well as heavy injury.

As Slate puts it, the event was largely a marketing ploy (albeit very successful) on the 250th anniversary of the founder's 9,000 year lease on his Dublin factory. The celebration was often supplemented by Guinness with music and other sponsored fun. Critics, however, denounced it as irresponsible, and eventually, as noted by BBC, the Guinness team threw in the towel.

But fear not. You can still toast Arthur Guinness with your friends whenever you please, because although Arthur's Day is in the past, Guinness is very much alive and kicking.