St. James's Gate
St. James's Gate, located off the south quays of Dublin, on James Street, was the western entrance to the city during the Middle Ages. During this time it was the traditional starting point for the Dublin pilgrimage Camino to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

 in Spain. Now central to a 64 acres (258,999 m²) industrial area, St. James Gate was the location of a yearly festival.

The Origins of Guinness Brewery

To compete with the burgeoning London beer trade, many breweries sprang up in the mid-17th century in Dublin, including, in 1670, the St James’s Gate Brewery owned by Alderman Giles Mee. Giles Mee, was given a lease to the water rights at St James’s Gate (The Pipes) in 1670 and established a brewery there. This passed to his son-in-law, Sir Mark Rainsford, a city alderman
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council...

. He went out of business in 1715. Neither the Mees nor the Rainsfords were very successful brewers. A contemporary report says their beer was “thin, weak, musty and stale worse than anything”. In 1715, the Rainsfords put the premises up for lease and it was taken by Captain Paul Espinasse, who quickly became the most celebrated beer producer in the area. But he died in a fall from his horse near the Black Bull Inn at Drogheda
Drogheda is an industrial and port town in County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. It is the last bridging point on the River Boyne before it enters the Irish Sea....

 in 1750. For ten years the Ale Brewery was on the market and nobody showed any interest in it.

On the last day of December 1759 Arthur Guinness
Arthur Guinness
Arthur Guinness was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery business and family.He was also an entrepreneur, visionary and philanthropist....

 rode through the gate of the dilapidated brewery. He had just signed a lease on the property for 9,000 years at £45 per annum. His friends shook their heads in disbelief. The Street was already festooned with similar small breweries, all attracted to this spot by a good supply of water. The site has been a location for brewing of Guinness
Guinness is a popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James's Gate, Dublin. Guinness is directly descended from the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost...

 beer ever since. Recently all Guinness production in the UK has been moved back to the St. James's Gate site.

See also

  • St. James's Gate Brewery
    St. James's Gate Brewery
    St. James's Gate Brewery is a brewery founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland by Arthur Guinness. The company is now a part of Diageo, a company formed via the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. The main product produced at the brewery is Guinness Draft.Leased for 9,000 years in 1759 by...

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