Honoring Michael Ash, the Man that Invented Guinness Draught

Pints of Guinness at the Gravity Bar atop the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland..
Pints of Guinness Draught at the Gravity Bar atop the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland.

It was after a short three-year stint of being a mathematics instructor in Bedford, England that Michael Ash turned his focus to brewing. In 1951 Ash began his career at Guinness in Dublin, Ireland. Here he learned the art of brewing that paved the way towards his development of introducing nitrogen to pour the prefect pint of Guinness.

Four years after he began his brewing career at Guinness, Ash was assigned to a project in 1955 to create a way to pour a pint of Guinness that truly exemplifies the beer. This journey took four years and in 1959 Guinness Draught was born created with a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. During this period Ash discovered the benefit of introducing nitrogen to the draught pour. Nitrogen with its tiny bubbles helps create the beautiful creamy head and smoothness that is associated with this legendary beer.

It takes 119.5 seconds to pour that perfect pint of Guinness. We can all thank Michael Ash for his part! Guinness recently honored Ash at its Dublin brewery and below is a video highlighting his contribution to the brewing world.

It wasn’t until 1988 when Guinness introduced its widget to allow for the Guinness Draught experience in a portable aluminum can. Last year Guinness expanded its nitro can offerings to include its Nitro IPA in cans that are only available here in the United States. (Here’s our review of the Nitro IPA.)

Since Ash introduced nitrogen as a way of dispensing beer many additional breweries across the globe took note. Now almost every beer bar has at least one beer pouring on nitro. Earlier this year Samuel Adams introduced its Nitro Project that features a lineup of Nitro White Ale, Nitro IPA, and Nitro Coffee Stout all poured from an aluminum can.

(Learn more about Guinness and its amazing 257-year history from my recent trip to Dublin by clicking here.)