book review: the search for god and guinness by stephen mansfield

Confession: I read this book two years ago.

I found the story of Guinness family’s altruistic efforts so compelling that I lent it to a favorite friend and forgot about it. She recently texted me about a dream she had regarding me and Guinness-flavor cupcakes (?), which triggered my memory of The Search for God and Guinness and how much I liked it. And so I thought I’d share a little review of the book.

Stephen Mansfield effortlessly outlines the Guinness family members’ hearts for Jesus in an under-resourced Dickensian Ireland. Drinking water was awful. Living conditions were worse. Men were overworked, women were suffering, children were hungry. Workers were drunk. The idea of God was distant and laughable. (Yikes. How’s that for a mental picture?)

Throughout the “biography of beer,” Mansfield chronicles a history of how one of the world’s most recognizable brands has Christian roots. How the beer was brewed in an attempt to provide factory workers with something decent to drink that wouldn’t make them completely shwastey like the moonshine they were chugging. How Guinness families paved the way for social services, giving employees and their communities dignity through education, health care, and the arts. How evangelizing + imbibing somehow made sense.

Whether you’re a history nerd, a craft-brew guru or a staunch prohibitionist, the book is well worth a read. The book is super informational and steeped in history, making it a genuinely interesting book to flip through, whether or not you drink or are a Christian.

Cheers! (Too much?)

[Full disclosure: BookSneeze provided me an advanced copy.]

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