Yesterday afternoon Liveline callers alerted Joe Duffy to an important change to the production of their favourite drink. You can listen back to the audio above.
The "scandal", as Joe jokingly calls it, involves an "important Irish invention" known as a floating widget. The device is placed in a can during production and, as our Liveline host puts it, "when you pull the ring on the Guinness can, you got a lovely pint of draught".
However, according to Liveline callers, the floating widget has been removed from some cans and they're none too pleased with the results.
"Poured it - no widget, no sound, no head, looked flat, tasted awful," says Sean. "I assumed it was a dud and I thought I'll have to get another one but the second one, same thing."
"No floating widget," he informed Joe, gravely. "I shook the can thinking it was stuck to the bottom, but no. Then I thought there was something wrong with the can, then I realised the can was smaller than the one I had bought before."
#liveline is a rollercoaster of emotions today. From gyms closing, to the balls being removed from cans of guinness.— Brenda BoooOOOOOoooooleigh (@Bee__bee__) October 21, 2020
"I was talking to somebody who was delivering the cans for Diageo," Peter, a second caller, explained on air. The delivery man explained that a fixed widget had replaced the floating widget which is why the cans were now 470 instead of 500mls.
"I'm a mouthful short," he exclaimed. "If you're getting a tray, that's twenty-four mouthfuls," he added, laughing.
This @liveline conversation about the change in cans of Guinness is what everybody needs right now.— Louise McSharry (@louisemcsharry) October 21, 2020
In response to these comments, a spokesperson from Diageo told Liveline:
"The Covid-19 situation has created many challenges for all types of businesses and the brewery is no different. Thankfully, our brewery operations have held up very well but, regrettably, we have encountered a supply issue with our floating widgets for Guinness Draught in a can. As a temporary measure, we have reverted to a fixed widget system in some of our cans formats until the production of the floating widget returns."
"The fixed widget can is slightly smaller at 470mls. This temporary change was made simply to ensure the supply of Guinness Draught in a can. It contains exactly the same Guinness, just in a different can format. We expect to have the floating widget back in production in early 2021."
"500ml cans with the floating widget are still available in Ireland in the 8-pack format. Pricing remains at the discretion of the retailer."