It's a drink that Belizeans have come
to love, although very few are
aware--or could care less--of its
proud Irish heritage. And while
personally I prefer Gin and tonic,
yesterday News 5's Janelle Chanona
used the opportunity of St. Patrick's
Day to find out just what makes a
two hundred year old drink from so far away, so popular
here in Belize.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
Every year, more than a hundred and twenty thousand
of Guinness--roughly about two point eight million
sold in Belize. Apparently, Belizeans have always been
Guinness drinkers. We started importing it from Ireland
in the
late 1940s until the Belize Brewing Company got the
license to
start bottling it locally in 1989.

According to the Belize Brewing Company, Guinness has
been a strong performer. How come? Well, it couldn't be
because of that high alcohol content...could it?

Reinhard Happ, Brew master
"I won't say it's the main reason, but I think it's one
of the
major reasons. I guess it's the taste, the brand, one of
major reasons for the consumption of Guinness."

"It's always been that alcohol that conveys the taste,
makes it feel rich in the mouth, it's the body; that's
people like on Guinness."

Hilly Martinez, G.M., Belize Brewing Co.
"The bitterness unit in a beer is roughly between sixteen
eighteen BTUs. Our stout is about twenty-eight...Guinness
between sixty and seventy. So it's very bitter and some
like that taste, some don't."

Okay, so let's get this straight, it tastes bitter and
it's a quick
high. With a rap like that, who wants it? Well, according
to local
producers, the strong stout is a status symbol for

Hilly Martinez
"You know, in the past, it used to be looked at, and
as a macho know, you drink Guinness, you are
man with power, recently, Guinness had the Michael Power
promotion. But [we are] trying to divert from the fact
that it's
good for you or it's a man's drink, we want to say it's a
drink, it's fun to socialize with Guinness."

But even if a tall glass of cold Guinness isn't your cup
of tea,
Belizeans have used the beverage in some interesting

Hilly Martinez
"I know after donating blood, the Blood Donor's
used to always ask us for a couple cases of Guinness so
can give people...they have a choice of drinking Guinness
whatever they want. And it's used for making cakes, some
people felt that when their so-called blood was low, they
use it with milk, eggs and nutmeg etcetera, but that's
just a
side thing. Guinness is really a dark beer so to speak, a

A stout, which according to Brew master Reinhard Happ,
isn't hard to make. All you need is some barley malt,
colouring and of course, the secret extract for that
taste...which they test just to make sure they've got it
right...but, a state of the art, multi-million dollar,
computerized factory, with plenty of Guinness experts on
certainly doesn't hurt.

In other parts of the world, Guinness sales might have
increased sharply as men and women celebrated St.
Day, but there wasn't any fanfare or product promotion on

Monday, pretty much because, as we've just told you, here
Belize, every day is March seventeenth. Reporting for
News 5, I
am Janelle Chanona.

In case you were wondering, approximately ten million
glasses of Guinness are sold worldwide each day, made in
breweries in fifty-one different countries. As to the
question of whether Guinness builds the strength of its
drinkers, we can only note that brewery founder Arthur
Guinness fathered twenty-one children.