There's a reason the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is Ireland's most famous attraction. Not only is Guinness a world famous beer, the tour itself is fun and fascinating.
Started by Arthur Guinness in 1759, Guinness has been a staple of Ireland ever since. Located in St. James's Gate Brewery, Guinness signed a 9.,000 year lease to operate his brewery on the premises. Something tells me it's going to be around for a long time.
Guinness Storehouse Tour
Enjoy our video showcasing our time at the Guinness Storehouse
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The tour begins at the seal of Guinness where Arthur Guinness signed his famous lease. Guides walk you through the multilevel storehouse showing how the Guinness Stout is made from beginning to end. Once you learn about the early beginnings, you are lead to a blue waterfall where the fresh water from the Wicklow Mountains is pumped into the brewery. Dave and I have always said that Guinness definitely tastes better in Ireland and something tells me it's because of the Wicklow water.
Walking through the maze of halls and hallways, you see how the grains are processed. They even have barely growing on the walls. An interesting fact is that Guinness uses 100,000 tonnes of Irish grown barley per year.
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Your Guinness Storehouse Tour then takes you to the Cooperage and Transport floor where you learn about how the casks were made how how Guinness is transported. Did you know that the term Firkin is the size of a cask? It's like a keg only smaller. Firkin makers were well trained artists that made the barrels by hand. It was a prestigious job, if not very hard work.
The tour is fun, but let's face it, we're all here to drink Guinness and the next stop on the tour takes you to the tasting room.
Leading along a long dark hall lit with red neon lights, you feel as if you are in a Scifi movie. Especially when you enter the stark white tasting room complete with dry ice bursting out of tall slender containers.
Each container is filled with the aromas of each ingredient of Guinness giving you a perfect setting for tasting the world's number one Stout. It's as delicious as you ever could have expected.
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Once you are finished in the white room, it's on to the next room that feels more like the inside of a grand ship than a beer tour. That's because it is modelled after the ships that transported Guinness to the mainland. You can even ring the bell from the ship Lady Miranda Guinness that used to transport Guinness from Dublin to Liverpool.
One of my favourite exhibits in the Guinness Storehouse was all the previous ad campaigns. Guinness has been quite creative when it comes to advertising their beer. From the whistling oyster to the bicycle riding fish, there's been some very unique commercials out there. What I loved learning was that Guinness is actually good for you. Once upon a time, people drank a pint of Guinness after giving blood in Dublin to replenish their electrolytes. Guinness is also considered a light beer and according to some of the ads, it's give you strength. That's my kind of beer!
The Guinness Harp
Did you know that the emblem of Ireland is a harp? When you visit the book of Kells at Trinity College the harp is on display. The harp was greatly revered in history and often played at courts. It became the symbol of Ireland and when Guinness developed their own label, they used the harp but flipped it backwards so that they could trademark it.
Enjoy our Video: How to Pour a Perfect Pint of Guinness
When pouring a pint of Guinness, the harp plays an important roll. When filling the pint, the bartender pulls the tap fully until the beer reaches the harp. Once it touches the top of the harp, they stop pouring and let it sit until the cascade has settled to a nice dark pint. He then continues to pour the rest of the head.
Extra Guinness Storehouse Tour Options
When visiting the Guinness Storehouse, you can either take the regular tour through the brewery or you can add a premium tasting experience. The Guinness Academy brings you into a private room where you learn how to pour a pint of Guinness. You'll master the art of the six step process that takes 119.5 seconds to perfect. Once you are finished you receive a diploma and a fresh pint of Guinness to enjoy on your own.
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The end of the Guinness Storehouse Tour
The Guinness Storehouse Tour doesn't end like other tours in travel. This one takes you to the 7th floor Gravity Bar that offers panoramic views of Dublin. Enjoy the sunset in this chic bar as you sip on a complimentary pint of Guinness with one of the best views in Dublin. The Gravity Bar is world famous and makes for a perfect ending to an excellent tour.
Once you are done, you make your way down the escalator to the exit where you can pick up your complimentary checked coats and bags before heading off to explore more of Dublin.
And there you have it, your Guinness Storehouse Tour is complete. When you visit Dublin, make sure to include this tour in your itinerary. It's as much a part of Dublin as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.
Guinness Storehouse Fast Facts
Taxis wait outside to finding transportation is easy.
The Storehouse is only a 20 minute walk from the city centre should you prefer to go by foot.
Guinness Storehouse is open 7 Days a week 9:30 – 7pm (last entrance is 5pm)
Cost of entry is €16-€20 and includes a pint of Guinness plus a tasting in the white tasting room.
The Connoisseur and Perfect Pour Experiences are Extra
Visit the Guinness Storehouse website for more details.
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Our tour of Dublin was in partnership with the Lonely Planet as part of their Lonely Planet Pathfinders. Stay tuned for our video of Dublin on YouTube