The Guinness Harp at Guinness Storehouse in Ireland

Today I’m sharing photos and a short video related to the Guinness harp. The emblem is based on a 14th century Irish harp known as “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru.” Guinness has featured a harp image on its beer labels since 1862 and trademarked it in 1876. The logo consists of the harp, the GUINNESS® word, and Arthur Guinness’ signature.

Harps outside the Storehouse

Here’s a harp on a sign outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland.

Street sign in Dublin

Here’s another harp outside the entrance where visitors can take horse-drawn carriage tours.

Guinness harp

Harps inside the Storehouse

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Visitors to the Storehouse can get a glimpse of the Downhill Harp. Cormac O’Kelly of Ballinascreen made this harp in 1702. Blind harpist, Denis Hempson (or O’Hampsey), played this harp for many years using traditional techniques.

Downhill harp

The Guinness emblem has changed over the years, but the straight edge is always on the left side. Here’s a more colorful image.

Fun Fact: In 1922, the Free State of Ireland adopted the harp as its official national emblem when it separated from the United Kingdom. Since Guinness had previously trademarked the harp, the government flipped the image so that the harp’s straight edge would be on the right side.

graphics inside Storehouse

Visitors to Guinness Storehouse get a free sample, but if you’re still thirsty, go to The Gravity Bar on the seventh floor. There are five bars and restaurants in the seven-story building.

These glasses of freshly poured Guinness stout feature a harp image.

Guinness beer

Newly remodeled in March of 2020, The Gravity Bar offers scenic 360-degree views of Dublin. Prince William and Kate visited the redesigned bar for an event a couple days prior to our visit.

Dublin view

The images above this harp show a few of the various versions of harps used in advertisements over the years. This is no ordinary harp.

Guinness harp

Visitors, even those with limited musical ability like me, can “play” this harp by running their fingers through its laser strings. Enjoy your St Patrick’s Day today and your Guinness beer any day of the year. Sláinte!

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