Synopses & Reviews
There is no other company, industry, or premises more closely aligned—indeed almost synonymous—with its hometown than Guinnesss St. Jamess Gate Brewery and the city of Dublin. From the companys modest beginnings in 1759 to its heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its continued strength into the twenty-first century, Guinness has had an enormous influence over the citys economic, social, and cultural life.
In this warm and fascinating piece of history, Tony Corcoran examines the magnitude of the brewerys operation, and the working lives of the thousands of Dubliners who have depended on Guinness for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly. The companys unusually progressive treatment of its workers—health care, training, and housing—is revealed in detail, as is the Guinness familys philanthropy and compassion towards the less well-off residents of the city. Tracing Guinnesss progressive attitudes to their roots, Corcoran also explores the important roles of the strong-willed women in each generation of the Guinness dynasty. A labor of love, full of anecdotes, humor, and historical insights into one of Dublins most important and best-loved institutions.
“Whenever I bleed, I am always surprised to see that my blood is not black. Certainly, when you consider that I was born into two Guinness families, had two Guinness grandfathers and five Guinness uncles, and was on the premises of Guinness before I could walk, I am as much a product of Guinness as the black stuff itself.”—Tony Corcoran
"A third-generation employee of Guinness, Corcoran delivers an insider account of the company's St. James Gate compound in Dublin that's also a love letter, both fascinating and heartwarming. Rarely critical of the company (unions are only briefly discussed), Corcoran focuses on the more charming aspects of working at the brewery, describing everything from the cafeteria to 'The Taps,' locations scattered throughout the brewery that once enabled workers to sample their wares (workers now receive a case of beer every two weeks in lieu of the suggested two pints per day). Such minutiae, along with revelations about the company's remarkably progressive labor policies at the turn of the century, will keep readers smiling while longing for a pint. Details like the personnel structure, on-site concerts and social clubs like the Guinness Drama Group will probably bore those without ties to the brewery, but tales of the firm's generosity (including a loan system the company instituted during the Great Depression) are laudable and inspiring. Those who appreciate the legendary stout will find plenty more reasons to tip one back, but teetotalers interested in the business will appreciate the history as well." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
First illustrated social history of the St James's Gate Brewery, including in-depth discussion of the major contribution made by the Guinness company to the welfare of its staff and the wider community.
There is no other company, industry or premises more closely aligned - indeed almost synonymous - with its home town than Guinness's St James's Gate brewery and Dublin city. From the company's modest beginnings in 1759 to its heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its continued strength into the twenty-first century, Guinness has had an enormous influence over the city's economic, social and cultural life. In this extensive illustrated study, Tony Corcoran examines the magnitude of the brewery's operation, and the working lives of the thousands of Dublin people who depended on Guinness for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly. The company's extremely progressive treatment of its workers - in terms of health, training and housing - is revealed in detail, as is the Guinness family's philanthropy and compassion towards the less well-off residents of the city. The book is a labor of love, full of anecdote, humor and historical insights into one of Dublin's most important and best-loved institutions.
Celebrate 250 years of Guinness!
About the Author
Tony Corcoran’s family has worked for generations for Guinness. He lives in Dublin.