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The Boston Globe reports that Diageo, the makers of Guinness Stout, has its master brewers working on 10 new versions of the classic Irish brew intended to be put on the market on a rotating basis by 2010.

The first of these products, called Brew 39, is said to have a “smoother, clean taste” compared to the “burnt, chocolaty, slightly harsh quality” associated with traditional Guinness.

The new products are being introduced because sales are off three percent during the past year, and were off six percent the year before. There also are concerns that traditional Guinness simply has little or no appeal to younger consumers who have been drinking wine or mixed cocktails.

Skeptics, however, note that previous Guinness offshoots have been less than stellar performers (Guinness XXX Extra Strong Stout, Guinness Gold, and Breo White Beer), and that new Guinness products are likely only to eat into the company’s own existing market share.
KC's View:
We’re a little skeptical, but we’ll be willing to try anything the company puts on the market.

Our friend Jack Allen says that one of the reasons that he has been uncommonly healthy for the past decades is that he has one bottle of Guinness a day, every day. Jack is incredibly good shape and runs every day, so that’s about a good a commercial as we can imagine.

Our experience with Guinness is somewhat less temperate. When we lived in Ireland during the summer of 1977, we got to the point where we were drinking eight pints of Guinness a night – it was only later that, under somewhat more sober circumstances, we realized we were drinking the equivalent of a gallon of beer each evening.

We love Guinness. But every time we taste it, we remember being roughly the shape and size of the Goodyear blimp.