Berkshire, England
A stalwart of the company, serving 44 years at Park Royal, 18 years at board level

When I look back over my forty-four years in Guinness there were many points where my path crossed with visitors from Australia and New Zealand, and with colleagues whose careers were involved with exporting Guinness around the world, establishing new breweries, and developing contract brewing with companies such as those described in this book. Those contacts have left me with many fine memories and life-long friendships. Some of the most memorable were the visits by Australian bowls teams with whom we had many an earnest contest on the Park Royal greens and many an enjoyable dinner afterwards.

Eamon Cleary Chair of Irish Studies
University of Otago

A beautifully written, meticulously researched account of the lives and fortunes of the early Guinness family in New Zealand and Australia, and of the development of Guinness brewing in the two countries. In order to capture the many aspects of this complex story of a family who became a world-famous brand, Rod Smith has skillfully woven genealogy, documented information, factual narrative, creative reconstruction​ and pen sketches into a compelling read. While parents provide our ticket of admission into life, it is families who operate the long-running shows in which we all perform—for better or for worse. Rod Smith’s "Guinness Down Under - the famous brew and the family come to Australia and New Zealand" - is utterly engaging.

Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
University of Melbourne

Rod Smith has written an original and intriguing jigsaw puzzle of a book. The varied pieces include accounts of the families of four grandsons of the founder of Dublin’s Guinness Brewery who immigrated to Australia and New Zealand during the 19th century; the fictional memoirs and letters of another Guinness family member, a woman who lived in New Zealand and Fiji; and, finally, a history of the Guinness brewing business both in Ireland and Down Under. This is a book to be savoured, not just by those who love their pint of Guinness, but by all those interested in how Irish culture and tastes have shaped and continue to shape the lives of New Zealanders and Australians. 

former Technical Superintendent, South Australian Brewery Ltd
Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
former vice-president Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Asia Pacific Section

Two aspects of Rod Smith’s work provide important additions to the recorded history of the brewing industry in Australia and New Zealand. They are the account of the successes, trials, tribulations and complicated dealings that marked the importation and distribution of various styles of Guinness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and secondly, Rod’s detailed examination of the ‘ups and downs’ of Guinness brewing in the two countries from the early 1960s to the present day.

former General Manager and Director, New Zealand Breweries Ltd

At several points in my career with New Zealand Breweries I had contact with Guinness and I learned much in visits to St. James’s Gate and Park Royal.  When the decision was made to brew Guinness in Auckland it was my job to make it happen.  However, until I read the draft of Rod Smith’s book I was quite unaware of the extent of the family associations with Australia and New Zealand. Those associations have now been well-recorded.  There is much to discover in “Guinness Down Under”.










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