Guinness: The Missional Drink that Changed the World

I always thought BAM was Business as Mission; but Beer as Mission? Read the full article here.

One of my favourite writers Os Guinness ("The Call") is related to the Guinness family, continuing the tradition. As the article explains, the founder, Arthur Guinness was a man of faith.  Born in 1724 in a family where his father was an archbishop, he embodied the words that were his family motto: Spes mea in deo (My hope is in God). His influence from the famous revivalist John Wesley inspired and enabled him to use his God-given talents in entrepreneurship as a vehicle to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Wesley’s mantra which is known as the statement, “Make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can” profoundly impacted Arthur Guinness’ perspective in life and his wealth.

In mid 1700 in Ireland, there was a phenomena called “The Gin Craze.”  An overwhelming large number of people were drinking whiskey and gin as their primary beverage. Water was deemed unsafe due to the micro-organisms and mysterious diseases found in water unbeknownst to everyone. The parliament forbidded the importation of liquor in 1689, so the Irish and British began making their own. This led to excessive drunkenness resulting in a poverty-ridden, crime-infested time. Statistics show that every sixth house in English was a gin house.

Arthur Guinness was infuriated with this drunkenness. He constantly prayed to God to do something with the alcoholism on the streets of Ireland. In fact, he felt God calling him to “Make a drink that men will drink that will be good for them.” He then developed a dark stout beer called Guinness. Guinness contained so much iron that people felt full before they can drink more pints. During its creation, the alcohol level was lower than gin and whiskey.

With the preserving influence of the salt and penetrating influence of light, his life truly exemplified Lord’s mandate to be the salt and light of the world.