A while back, I heard a story which really struck a chord with me. A Guinness distributor was arranging a night out at a local pub, and he approached the bar tender to see if he could get a pint of Guinness for his passenger. The bar tender replied, “Yeah, sorry mate, but we’ve only got one tap, and it’s only pouring out of the one tap.” The pub was having a Guinness shortage, so he told him he’d have to wait until the tap was changed. The guy went away thinking the bar was just being cheeky, but when he returned home he found an email from the Guinness brewery. They needed to know if he’d be able to collect his Guinness that night – they were having a shortage

Just for fun, we decided to try our hand at Guinness reduction and we were surprised to find that it was not as difficult as we anticipated. We used a recipe that we adapted from a cookbook, and we cooked the stout with water and sugar. The results were quite good. A Guinness reduction is a cooked reduction of Irish stout, and it’s mostly used as an ingredient for sauces and stews. We tried it as a dessert and made our own Guinness ice cream.

As of October 2010, Guinness has been enjoying a very fruitful year of record sales. In the first nine months of the year, according to the latest figures from Diageo, the company saw a 5% increase in beer sales over the previous year, and a massive 21% increase in the value of the company’s soft drinks division.

It’s my birthday month, as well as Saint Patrick’s Day month.

I’m not sure why I get so enthusiastic about Saint Patrick’s Day; I believe it’s because I have pleasant childhood recollections of the holiday.

Spring is in the air – the days are becoming longer, the birds are singing, and summer plans are taking form.

Saint Patrick’s Day was always a huge thing in my family, so it may have rubbed off on me a little. Mom made sure I had a beautiful, new piece of green clothes to go to school every day.

So I wanted to try something that shouted “Irish” while still fulfilling my appetite for small plates. (One year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to eat more appetizers……)

Guinness was the first thing that sprang to mind.

There are just two components in this Guinness reduction: equal quantities of Guinness Stout and brown sugar.

I experimented with granulated sugar. It was delicious, but I like the taste of the brown sugar batch.

We served the Guinness reduction with a variety of cheeses, olives, and prosciutto from our local grocery shop, as well as a range of cheeses, olives, and prosciutto.


Life's simple pleasures - olive oil drizzled with an easy Guinness reduction. The perfect addition to a cheeseboard |

Reduction in Guinness

Guinness Reduction

Serves 1 & 1/2 cup
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time Time: 45 minutes
Total amount of time Minutes: 47
Meal type Appetizer

Without the “tang,” the Guinness reduction sauce reminds me of balsamic vinegar. It’s a simple recipe, but it does need some patience while the sauce warms up and thickens into a wonderful syrup. Drizzle some olive oil into a bowl, then dip baguettes in it and enjoy!


  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 1 cup finely packed brown sugar


This Guinness reduction sauce thickens as it sits in the fridge. This is a positive development.

Enjoy! –


Step 1
This is so easy that you don’t even need a “recipe” for it —

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the Guinness and brown sugar.

Continue to stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has begun to boil.

Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 45 minutes, stirring periodically. Be patient; it’ll be well worth it!

While this combination is boiling, I recommend paying careful attention to it. Because there is so much sugar, it is possible that it may burn.

In addition, I noticed that the mixture would sometimes rise to the top of the sauce pan (maybe my saucepan should have been larger). If this occurs, just remove the pan from the heat and wait for the mixture to cool down. Lowering the temperature will also help.

Life's simple pleasures - olive oil drizzled with an easy Guinness reduction. The perfect addition to a cheeseboard |