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What Kind of Beer is Guinness? Resolved (2024 Updated)

What Kind of Beer is Guinness

Today we’ll talk about a legendary beer that needs no introduction, but there’s always more to discover – Guinness. 

If you’re a beer newbie, you might be wondering, “What kind of beer is Guinness?” 

Well, we’re gonna break down everything you need to know about this iconic brew, from how it’s crafted to how it stacks up against other types of beer. 

So sit tight, and let’s dive into the world of Guinness beer.

What Kind of Beer Is Guinness? 

Can and a Glass of Guinness Beer

Guinness is a type of ale, also known as stout. This Irish beer is made from various ingredients, such as barley, water, hops, and a specific yeast strain. 

This drink’s deep color and flavor are attributed to the large amount of barley. Its creamy and dense head is also produced by adding nitrogen to it.

“We showed that Guinness contained the most folate of the imported beers we analyzed.”

— Charlie Bamforth, Brewing Sciences Professor at the University of California

Guinness is available in various varieties and is a popular component in a wide range of cocktail recipes, such as:

  • Irish Car Bomb Jelly Shots
  • Bloody Mary
  • Drunken Leprechaun
  • Black Velvet 
  • Guinness Martini
  • Guinness Black Russian 

Additionally, Guinness beer is often regarded as Ireland’s national drink. But what does Guinness beer really taste like?

What Makes Guinness A Stout  

Brewing Process

Guinness is made of barley grains, meticulously crushed and mixed with water – heated and added to newly malted barley before the mix is mashed to extract the sugar in the brew.

The dark-roasted barley undergoes a precise roasting process, which creates a black state of perfection in the barley, creating a Guinness stout. 

The brewing and crafting process of Guinness beer involves six classic steps: 

  • Milling and mashing the barley 
  • Wort separation
  • Boiling 
  • Fermentation
  • Maturation and storage
  • Packaging/ Bottling 

But how long does it really take to brew beer?


Hand Holding Grains

Guinness beer is crafted with roasted and malted barley, Guinness yeast, hops, and nitrogen. 

Some ingredients used in making Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are roasted to produce a darker color. This process helps produce a dark ruby-black finish. 


Guinness has a malty sweetness with a hoppy bitterness. This is unique from other beer types, so distinguishing Guinness is not hard.

Its roasted flavor also comes through, with the aromas of chocolate and coffee. Besides, the palate is smooth and creamy.

Aroma & Mouthfeel

The aroma of Guinness is savory, with a noticeable sweetness and roasted character. It’s pleasant to the nose and very enticing.

The mouthfeel is smooth and clean, with a bit of creaminess. It is not thick nor too thin. It has a perfect balance. 

Read: Our Favorite Beers For Black & Tan Cocktail

Guinness Compared To Other Beer Types

2 Glasses of Guinness Beer


Guinness is slightly low in alcohol content compared to lager beer types. Generally, Guinness has an average ABV of 4.3%, while lager beers have an average ABV of 5% [1]. 

Since alcohol is the primary origin of calories in alcoholic beverages, we can safely assume that Guinness stours are lower in calories than lager beers. However, Guinness feels more filling. 


Guinness and IPA (or Indian Pale Ale) differ significantly in color. IPAs have an amber or light caramel hue, while Guinness is darker, more like coffee.

Their ingredients primarily influenced their color. Guinness is on the darker side due to the presence of roasted barley, and IPA is on the lighter side due to the use of lighter malts. 

Other Stouts

Man Drinking Guinness Beer

Guinness is a type of dry Irish stout. If we compare it to other stouts, Guinness has similar characteristics to Coffee Stout – both have the same dark profile. 

Compared with Milk, Oyster, and Pastry Stout, Guinness lacks sweetness since it is a dry style. 

Also, Guinness is lower in ABV than Russian Stout and Imperial Porter, with higher alcohol content (5-10% ABV). 

Other stouts include American stout, Oatmeal stout, and Bourbon-barrel aged stout.  


What does Guinness beer taste like?

Guinness beer tastes malty and hoppy, characterized by its chocolate and coffee notes.

Its nose is sweet and has hints of malt, while its palate is creamy and smooth.

Does Guinness beer give you a hangover?

Yes. Guinness beer can give you a hangover. Dark beers like Porter and Guinness are some of the worst beverages to have on a night out.

It will leave you with a dry mouth, achiest limbs, and tenderest head the following day.

Is Guinness beer a dry stout?

Yes. Guinness beer is a dry stout. It was first created in Dublin in 1759.

Now, it’s one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, found in over 120 countries.

What are the characteristics of Guinness beer?

Guinness beer is known for its deep black color, creamy tan head, and rich, complex flavor profile. It has notes of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a subtle bitterness, with a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

Is Guinness considered a light or dark beer?

Guinness is classified as a dark beer due to its deep color and roasted malt flavors. However, it is not heavy like some other dark beers, as it has a relatively low alcohol content and a smooth texture.

How is Guinness different from other types of beer?

Guinness stands out from other beers due to its unique brewing process, which includes the use of roasted barley and a special nitrogenation technique that gives it a creamy texture and distinctive cascading bubbles.

Does Guinness have a high alcohol content?

Guinness typically has a moderate alcohol content, usually around 4-5% ABV (alcohol by volume), depending on the specific variant. This makes it comparable to many other types of beer in terms of alcohol strength.

What food pairs well with Guinness beer?

Guinness pairs well with a variety of foods, including hearty dishes like stews, roasts, and grilled meats. Its roasted malt flavors complement the richness of dishes with roasted or caramelized elements, while its creamy texture contrasts nicely with savory flavors.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, Guinness beer is a type of stout, a dry Irish stout, in particular. It is a signature of Ireland [2] and a kind of dark beer. It has roasted and malty flavors from the huge malted barley content. 

It lacks sweetness compared to other beer stout types and is darker than other beer types.

Though it contains low alcohol, it may cause severe hangovers due to its dark profile. 


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