Guinness Book of World Records.

This afternoon the Canadians visit the Guinness factory and as such, it seems appropriate to find the answer to a a long nagging question; what exactly is the relation between Guinness beer and the Guinness Book of World Records?
Images via Guinness World Records
In 1951 Sir Hugh Beaver, the then Managing Direction of Guinness, was hunting in County Wexford, Ireland, when he missed a shot at a golden prover. The missed shot sparked an argument during the evenings hunting party as to which was faster, the golden plover or the red grouse. Unable to find the answer to his question, Sir Beaver realized a book "to settle arguments in Great Britain's and Ireland's then 84,000 pubs" could prove quite useful.

An Under Brewer in a London Brewery recommended Sir Beaver contact the McWhirter Brothers, Norris and Ross, two sports journalists who at the time ran a 'fact finding agency' supplying statistics to UK newspapers. The McWhirter brothers were hired for the project and published the first "Guinness Book of Records" in 1955.

I wonder if Sir Hugh Beaver ever imagined that his simple question would ignite such a challenge to the world, exposing us to strange talents and people, celebrating the different, and entice the Bachelor to challenge the world's longest on-screen kiss. *Cringe.*
Some 35 years later Sir Beaver's question that started it all was finally answered. In 1989 the 36th edition of the record book held that, "Britain's fastest game bird is the Red Grouse which, in still air, has recorded burst speeds up to 92.8-100.8 km/h 58-63 mph over very short distances. Air speeds up to 112 km/h 70 mph have been claimed for the Golden plover when flushed, but it is extremely doubtful whether this rapid-flying bird can exceed 80-88 km/h 50-55 mph - even in an emergency."

Fascinating stuff... onto the Guinness!

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