The Perfect Pint

Even though I can never turn down Guinness, I personally believe that they're better Stouts and Porters out there. Still, you've got to hand it to Guinness for building dominant marketshare in a premium beer category. And they're not just doing it by injecting the right mix of hops, yeast and barley into a brewing vat -- they're relying on their supply chain to ensure a perfect pint every time. For more details on how they're refining their outbound supply chain, check out a great article on Supply and Demand Chain Executive that uses Guinness as an example as companies taking a more active approach to managing quality, performance, and customer satisfaction.

Are you curious about how that keg gets from Dublin to your local pub? I sure was. Read on: "Guinness beer destined for the corner pub on Main Street U.S.A. leaves the Dublin brewery in kegs that are subsequently loaded into 40-foot containers, which are loaded onto trucks that drive to Dublin Port, where the containers are offloaded into a customs bay before being moved into a holding pen. From there, the containers are loaded onto a feeder ship that sails from the more shallow Dublin Port to a deep-sea ocean port (Amsterdam or Southampton, for example, or even Liverpool) and offloads the beer into a holding area until the arrival of the ocean vessel. The ocean vessel takes the containerized beer across the Atlantic to, first, New York, followed by port calls in Norfolk, Charleston, Houston and, finally, Los Angeles. In port, the containers are offloaded, taken through customs, then picked up and delivered to a Diageo warehouse. Transit times, gate-to-gate, range from about 21 days to New York, up to 33-36 days for Los Angeles, depending on which of several different carriers is transporting the beer, weather, time of year and other factors — when everything goes right." It makes me thirsty just thinking about it ...

Jason Busch

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