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October 24, 2009

The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

Simply put, this book is about the history of Guinness beer and the Guinness family. It follows the family as they attempt to perfect a world famous brand. Along the way, we learn of their innovative business practices as they work to improve living and working conditions of their employees, and also through social justice activities and religious work.

I’ve never really been a beer drinker, and grew up in a house that literally had no alcohol in it my entire life. Having a degree in history and working as a youth pastor, I was intrigued by the title. I had no idea how closely related the church was to the beer industry, and really enjoyed hearing the church history in brewing. Honestly, I had no idea the Guinness family was so heavily involved in ministry either. Some of the Guinness’ were as famous as international Christian pastors/speakers as their families’ beer was popular. Even further, I never put it together that the Guinness beer and the Guinness Book of Records were the same people.

The book provides a good overview of the religious influence of Guinness and the business side. Mansfield covers each well enough so that people from mainstream or spiritual backgrounds would enjoy it. It is a pretty quick read and I would recommend it. The only issue is that if you’re like me, you’ll wish it was more in depth.