There's a reason the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is Ireland's most famous visitor attraction.
Not only is the home of Guinness; the world's most famous stout, the tour itself is fun and fascinating. Plus, you get to taste a lot of Guinness, so it's a win-win!
History of Guinness
Started by Arthur Guinness in 1759, Guinness has been a staple of Ireland ever since.
Located in the heart of Dublin at St. James's Gate Brewery, Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease to operate his brewery on the premises.
3 Great Guinness Storehouse Tours
A Guinness Brewery tour should be put to the top of anyone's travel itinerary.
We used Get Your Guide when booking city tours. Guided tours offer skip the line tickets to the visitor experience, and free cancellation within 24 hours for most tours.
About The Guinness Tour
The tour begins at the “Seal of Guinness” where Arthur Guinness signed his famous 9,000-year lease.
Guides take you through the multilevel storehouse showing how the Guinness Stout is made from the barrel house to the fermentation plant. It all ends with a frosty pint at the bar.
Water from the Wicklow Mountains
Once you learn about the early beginnings, you are lead to a blue waterfall where the freshwater 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.
The tour showcases the natural ingredients of Guinness in detail. Barley plants are actually growing on the walls!
Your Guinness Storehouse Tour then takes you to the Cooperage and Transport floor to learn of how casks are made and transported.
Have you ever heard of the word Firkin? In Toronto, we have Firkin pubs all over the city and I never knew what it meant.
The word Firkin is the size of a cask. It's like a keg only smaller.
Tasting Tour of Guinness
The factory tour is fun, but let's face it, we are all here to drink Guinness.
The tasting room is the best brewery tour setting on the planet with dry ice and neon lights adding to the mood.
The hallway leads to a stark white tasting room with smoke billowing out of slender containers.
The containers aren't just for show, each container is filled with the aromas of Guinness. The smell of barley, malt, hops, and yeast fills the air.
It's as delicious as you ever could have expected.
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 modeled 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.
Guinness in Advertising
One of my favourite exhibits in the Guinness Storehouse was the display of advertising campaigns over the years.
Guinness has always been quite creative when it comes to advertising their beer.
From a whistling oyster to a bicycle-riding fish, there have been some very unique commercials out there.
Guinness is Good for You!
What I loved hearing 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. That is certainly one way to entice people to do a good deed
Did you know, Guinness is also considered a light beer? Even though it is dark in colour, it is light in taste. It has fewer calories than most beers and less sugar. So drink on people!
The Guinness Harp
Did you know that the emblem of Ireland is a harp?
When Guinness developed their label, they too used the harp but flipped it backward so that they could trademark it.
When you visit the book of Kells at Trinity College you will see the real Irish harp on display.
The harp was greatly revered in history and often played at courts.
How to Pour a Pint of Guinness
When visiting the Guinness Storehouse, you can either take the regular tour through the brewery or you can add a premium tasting experience.
The Connoisseur Tour takes you to the Guinness Academy brings you into a private room where you learn how to pour a pint of Guinness.
- You can book your Connoisseur Tour directly at the Guinness Storehouse Website.
You'll master the art of the six-step process of pouring the perfect pint of Guinness that takes 119.5 seconds to perfect.
The harp plays an important role in making the pour perfect.
When filling the pint, the bartender pulls the tap fully until the beer reaches the harp emblem on the Guinness pint.
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.
They then continue to pour the rest of the head.
Once you are finished you receive a diploma and a fresh pint of Guinness to enjoy on your own.
Gravity Bar at Guinness
The Guinness Storehouse Tour doesn't end like other brewery tours.
This one takes you to the 7th-floor of the factory to the Gravity Bar.
Enjoy the sunset in this chic bar as you sip on a complimentary pint of Guinness. It has some of the best views of Dublin.
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.
Guinness Storehouse Fast Facts
Taxis wait outside the storehouse so transportation is easy.
The Storehouse is only a 20-minute walk from the city center should you prefer to go on foot.
Guinness Storehouse is open 7 Days a week 9:30 – 7pm (last entrance is 5pm).
Cost of entry is €19-€25 and includes a pint of Guinness plus a tasting in the white tasting room. You can book at the brewery or advance for skip the line tickets.
The Connoisseur and Perfect Pour Experiences are Extra
We loved our experience and the Connoisseur tour is worth the extra cost. You get another pint of beer and get to pour your own pint in a private tasting room.
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