When I planned my first trip to Ireland, I had a few things in mind that I wanted to explore, especially in Dublin. The colorful doors of Merrion Square. The Ha’Penny Bridge. St.Stephen’s Green. All that drill.
Visiting the Guinness Storehouse, however, was way down on my list of priorities.
You see, I am not a big fan of beer in general, and stout in particular. It’s just something about the smell that reminds me of molasses cookies (and you know I would much rather eat cookies than drink beer). But then, my husband got all puss-in-boots eyes at me and I couldn’t say no to him. Marriage is compromise, right?
So I ended up booking my tickets to the Guinness Storehouse anyway, despite my best efforts.
The factory is located a little bit outside the main attractions of the city, but it does make for a nice walk along the Liffey River, so that wasn’t so bad – plus you can find great deals at the Clarion hotel Liffey Valley, making it even easier to visit.
I was kind of surprised with the modern feel of the building, with lots of steel and glass touches – not that I was expecting an Irish castle, but anyway. Right at the entrance, you can see the many different bottles used throughout the years to distribute the stout, along with the famous 9,000 year lease on the grounds, signed by Arthur Guinness himself. Talk about forward thinking!
The visit innovative approach explains all the different ingredients and steps used to produce the tasty brew, including a waterfall and giant copper barrell. The overall visit is very interactive, and I have to admit – I found myself being absolutely captivated by the museum. The short explanatory films, the impressive numbers and the interaction throughout the visit was way above my expectations.
My favorite part, however, was pouring my own Guinness, on the fourth floor. You get a few tips on how to pour the get pint of Guinness and then it’s your turn to try. Much easier than it sounds! Crafting the perfect pint requires attention and an eye for detail – you don’t want to screw up that perfect frothy foam head! If you succeed, you get a certificate that proudly state you have crafted the perfect pint of Guinness, which is kind of cute.
And then comes the worst. For me, anyway. The tasting part. Argh. No matter how bad I wanted it to taste good, it simply didn’t. Not then, not now and probably not ever. I think for this part, pictures speak louder than words.
I did enjoy, however, the relaxing gin and tonic (sinner, I know!) I sipped at the Gravity Bar, after the visit. It offers smashing views over Dublin on clear days and it was the perfect way to end my time at the storehouse (not before I picked out a few items at the gift shop, of course!).
Have you been to the Guinness Storehouse? Or any other famous brewery? Are you a fan of beer tasting while traveling?