The hunting of the Stout

Hunting of the Stout - bellman by Gilroy

In 1933 Guinness started publishing amusing books which they sent to doctors at Christmas. It was not uncommon then for doctors to prescribe a Guinness to patients; it had (and still has) associations as a healthy drink in moderation. The books became sought after and are now hard to find. The first book, 'The Guinness Alice' contained this amusing take on Lewis Carroll's famous 'Hunting of the Snark'. The books were said to be written by some of the best authors of their day but were unidentified (at least in the 1933 edition). These books later became the Guinness Book of Records series.


"Pay attention, my men, while with eloquent pen
The seven chief sins I point out
By which you may know, wherever you go,
The perfect and genuine Stout.

"Let us take them in order; the first is the Head
Like foam or like cauliflower tops;
Then the taste - which, you'll find, is like nectar combined
With a flavour of barley and hops.

"Then its Use - you may serve it with oysters or cheese,
At dinner, or lunch - or alone;
And its Goodness, for treating yourself and your friends,
And promoting digestion and tone.

"The fifth is the Colour, akin to Vandyke,
Or rubies of opulent flame;
And the sixth - the low price, for a drink that's so nice;
And the seventh, at last, is the Name.

"For although other Stout does exist without doubt,
Yet I feel it my duty to say,
When it's GUINNESS -"- the Bellman broke off with a shout,
For his hearers has hastened away.

He sought them with corkscrews, he sought them with care,
He perused them with jugs and speed
To the "Garter and Star," where they'd opened the bar -
A marvelous moment indeed!

In the midst of the words he was trying to say -
'Mid sounds of rejoicing and glee,
They were merrily laughing and quaffing away -
For the Stout was a GUINNESS you see!


Hunting of the Stout - butcher and beaver by Gilroy

Images of West Cork Amberley at Christmas Herstmonceux Castle - recent home to the Royal Greenwich Observatory
The Ozone Layer - the best 1% of my photographs! Around Sussex on a retro 1960s Scooter Leonardslee Gardens
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