People are only just realising meaning behind mysterious Guinness logo

By Staff

Have you ever wondered what the mysterious logo on the iconic Guinness glass is? Well it turns out you aren’t the only one who didn’t know – and it has a mysterious history

It’s St Patrick’s Day, and an estimated 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! March 17 is normally a day when people don green clothes and big hats with the Guinness logo on it. It’s a public holiday in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, all in honour of the Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick.

Enjoying food and drinks has always been a big part of St Patrick’s Day since historically Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted to celebrate the day. So today it’s perfectly acceptable, and actually expected, to drink Guinness – which is celebrated as Ireland’s national drink.

But despite being over 265 years old, having been founded in 1759 in Dublin by Arthur Guinness, it turns out people are only just realising the mysterious meaning behind the brand’s iconic harp logo. The drink itself, a dark stout, is easily recognisable, but so is the golden harp logo, which has been associated with the beverage since it was first bottled in St James’s Gate Brewery in 1862.

So why does Guinness use a harp as a logo? It turns out the history of it goes back much further than just being part of the drink’s emblem. The logo is based on a famous Irish harp from the 14th century known as the O’Neill or Brian Boru harp – which you’ll now find on display at the Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The ancient item is one of the oldest surviving Gaelic harps in the world, and it was reportedly once owned by Brian Boru, High Kind of Ireland – although that has since been contested.. In 1922 it was adopted as the official symbol of the Irish government.

But what makes the Guinness logo even more mysterious is that there’s a difference – they are mirror images, and actually face opposite ways. The logo has also changed a number of times over the years – with the number of strings on the instrument being dropped. However, it’s been in its current form sincesince 2016.

The newest design took the renoewed Harp back to a more traditional look with “sharpet, more dertailed features”.

Mark Sandys, Diageo Global Head of Beer and Baileys said: “The Guinness harp was originally based on the legendary ‘Brian Boru harp’, a powerful symbol of Ireland’s national identity and heritage. In keeping with the Guinness ‘Made of More’ ethos, we have reintroduced a special handmade quality to the harp to reflect the experience, craftsmanship and passion that we put into brewing our Guinness beers.”

And it turns out people didn’t even realise the Guinness logo was a harp. One person took to X, formerly Twitter, to write: “How am I just noticing that Guinness logo is a harp,” while another said: “Am I the only one that is just realising that the Guinness logo is a harp?? I seriously thought it was just a weirdly bent piece of gold.”

Did you know the mysterious history of the Guinness logo? Let us know in the comment section below.

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