Instead of writing one big post about Ireland, I’ll break it up into sections, as it’s easier than uploading all 200 pictures at the same time and then trying to write a somewhat coherent description of my travels.
First up: the Guinness brewery (more accurately known as the Guinness Storehouse). It’s no wonder that the Guinness Storehouse is the #1 tourist attraction in Ireland – who wouldn’t want to visit the location where the famous “black stuff” is made? The Guinness Storehouse, in fact, was our first stop on the Dublin “hop-on/hop-off” sightseeing bus. It was weird visiting a brewery at 10am, but it’s less crowded then, so at least that was working in our favor. The admission was an annoying 9.50 euros for students, but that did include a “complimentary” pint of Guinness at the end of the tour, and you also got to take home a paperweight kinda thingie that has a drop of Guinness encased within. Cute.
The Storehouse is pretty interesting…you learn how Guinness is made, how it is stored, transported, and finally, marketed. I’ve always thought Guinness has had some of the most clever ads, so it was cool to see a display with all of those.
That’s a lot of Guinness!
When you come to the end of the tour regarding the brewing of Guinness, they have this big glass tube filled with Guinness, all lit up…it’s amusing.
We also learned a lot about Arthur Guinness (“the man behind the brew”) and I came away from the tour rather impressed with Mr. Guinness. Not only did he brew a great porter, he was also quite progressive in providing his employees with medical/retirement benefits, paid holidays, high wages, etc.
At the end of your tour, you arrive at the Gravity Bar, which provides you with an excellent panoramic view of Dublin…and a pint of Guinness.
The bartenders, of course, know how to pour a “proper” pint of Guinness (it takes time, and is a process that should not be rushed) unlike many bars/restaurants in the U.S.
And yes, there was a Guinness store so you could buy all the Guinness goodies your heart could ever desire. I bought two pint glasses and a shirt. Guinness & Co. made a lot of money off of me that day.
A part of the tour that was disappointing was that we didn’t get to see the actual working brewery. I’ve only been on one other brewery tour (Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis) and what I really liked about that tour was that they took us through the actual brewery and packaging plants…also, it was free…and we were allowed two free beers and pretzels at the end…and we got to see the Clydesdales and the cute Dalmations. Still, the Guinness Storehouse was awesome, and definitely something that can’t be missed if you go to Dublin.