One thing I have noticed around South-East Asia is that the primary affordable dark beer is Guiness. This appears to be due to high beer tariffs and the fact that Guiness has breweries all over (for example in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and more places).

How did this come to be? How did Guiness come to expand so far and wide? Was it during colonial days or later?

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    Guiness is widely available all over the world. Is it possible that what you see is just a side effect of the traditional beers for the region being light coloured? Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 23:08
  • I don't think that's it. You can buy a lot of other beers here, but Guiness is far more prolific than other beers, and it is brewed locally, avoiding the high tariffs. At least in Indonesia and Malaysia it is one of three inexpensive beers (the other two varying depending on where you are: in Indonesia, San Miguel and Bintang, and in Malaysia Anchor and Tiger). Other dark beers are maybe 4x the cost and only sold in specialty stores. Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 1:26
  • is it the extra strong variety en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinness_Foreign_Extra_Stout Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 8:53
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    Reliability is a good factor. Guinness is nearly always at least drinkable, no matter where you are. It's my standby whenever I'm in a strange pub or bar and the 'beer' on tap is disgusting. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


Guinness licenses their brand and recipe to many breweries which is why they are so prolific everywhere. An example is the fact that Labatt's brews most Guinness sold in North America. So, their widespread popularity is simply a combination of marketing and smart distribution.

  • Nice. I did a lot of research was having a hard time answering this one. Do you work in the industry? How did you come by this knowledge? (Feel free to reply to those in chat.) But more to the topic, do most brands not license their brand to other breweries? (What are examples of others who do?) Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 19:56

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