‘An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.’ - Irish proverb
A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Guinness Factory. The stout is, after-all, synonymous with Ireland.
The Guinness Storehouse, in St. James’s Gate Brewery, is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. It was also named Europe's leading tourist attraction by the World Travel Awards in 2015. Since opening in 2000, it has received over 13 million visitors.
The site has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 31 December 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years. The operation has since expanded down to the Liffey and across both sides of the street. At one point the brewery even had its own railway and there was a giant gate stretching across St James's St, hence the name, St James’s Gate Brewery.
Guinness is now one of the most successful beer brands, over 10 million glasses are sold every day around the world. Due to it’s popularity, the brewery created the Storehouse, a seven storey experience dedicated to “the black stuff”.
Here you discover what goes into the making of a pint of Guinness and learn about the incredible history of the brewery. From production, ingredients and the craft of brewing to transportation and distribution. My personal favourite was a floor dedicated to the history of the brand’s famous advertising campaigns. Tick followed tock….
The seven floors are built around a glass atrium shaped as a giant pint, the world’s largest pint glass. At the base of the atrium lies a copy of the 9,000 year lease signed by Arthur Guinness.
The ground floor also introduces the stout’s four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast). A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its distinctive dark colour and characteristic taste. Although Guinness appears to be black, it is actually a very dark shade of ruby.
After making a wish, we continued our tour of the Tasting Rooms and The Guinness Academy, where we learnt how to pour the perfect pint. Guinness should take 119.5 seconds to pour and should be at a 45 degree angle.
At the top of the atrium is the world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar, the ‘Head of the Pint”, which has 360 degree views across Dublin. Unfortunately I was unable to enjoy a pint myself as the production process means it’s not suitable for vegetarians. Apparently the brewery are planning to alter the production slightly within the next couple of years to make it veggie friendly. Still, the views in the Gravity Bar made our visit worthwhile and my friend was more than happy to drink my pint for me.
Once we’d finished our tour we found this lovely chap waiting outside to give us a tour of the city before dropping us at Temple Bar, where we enjoyed some more of Dublin’s finest beverages.
If you're planning a trip to Dublin make sure you check out the Guinness Storehouse for yourself. I'd suggest purchasing your tickets in advance via the website to avoid any queues.