I just got back from a week long vacation to Ireland where I saw many of the scenes in Dublin and across the country. It is a beautiful place and lucky for me, it did not rain much, making for a pleasant reprieve from the late summer heat and humidity of the Midwest. Like most tours of Ireland, I saw the Cliffs of Moher and walked through countless ancient churches, but my visit to the Guinness plant will be an enduring highlight.

At Guinness, you learn the normal facts of any beer tour, but a couple stuck out to me:
  1. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease with a yearly rent of 45 pounds. This may be the greatest example of long term planning in history.
  2. Guinness brews different versions of its beer for different regions of the world. For example, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is sold in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, but not the United States and Canada. This strategy is similar to ones taken by many international firms.
  3. All the Guinness drunk in the United States is brewed in Dublin.
The third point is the most interesting to me because it is astonishing that all Guinness is imported!

So let’s take a look at the shipments of beer from Ireland with our U.S. import database, TradeIQ.

Important facts:
  • Year to date, shipments containing the word ‘Beer’ from Ireland were over 1,800 TEUs and 22,000 Metric Tons.
  • Imports of Irish beer in 2010 are expected to grow slightly over 2009, but down from a high in 2008 of over 3,500 TEUs.
  • The top 3 U.S. ports in 2010 for Irish beer are New York/Newark, Savannah, and Los Angeles.

Click here to learn more about beer imports and exports to the United States.