Guinness is one of Ireland’s most famous and long-standing exports, brewed in almost 60 countries and available in over 120 countries. No surprise then, that the Guinness Storehouse, filled with history of how “dark stuff”, is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. There was no way I was going to Dublin without seeing it.
Opening in 2000, the storehouse is the home of Guinness. Quite simply, this is where it all started in 1759. A copy of the 9,000 year lease signed by Arthur Guinness is still there, immediately highlighting how much of a visionary Guinness was. This was clearly a man who believed in the product, and the rest of the attraction is themed so you never forget. It is also incredibly spacious, informative and well-structured. The rest of the ground floor is focused on highlighting the beer’s four ingredients of water (extra photo here), barley, hops and yeast are made.
Rather than just swarms of small text, the process of how Guinness is made is really well explained with helpful subsections such as Roasting and Boiling. These include a video detailing the care taken and a diagram that highlights how the milled barley is released into a mash vessel and mixed with water.
The history of how Guinness was transported in its earlier days is also mentioned, with particular reference to ships and trains. The 12-foot-tall, two-ton wood carving of a giant pint of Guinness is also prominently featured. Some 20 artists contributed sketches for the giant sculpture created three years ago. You then get to smell the four very different substances of water, barley, hops and yeast. in the “white room” and taste a super miniature version of Guinness.
As my recent post on Guinness adverts highlighted, we are talking about far more than just a drink and instead a marketing phenomenon. This was my favourite part of the Guinness experience.Seeing just how differently Guinness has been promoted throughout the decades and through different mediums. That includes the use of different animals (everything from giraffes, penguins, elephants, pelicans and lions) to different slogans and even incorporating the length of time it takes to pull the perfect pint within adverts.
From there it was time to time to “pour the perfect pint”, where they show you the five step process to ensure your pint reaches it best levels, before you get to have your drink (and a nice little certificate to go with it). Or you can skip that whole stage to instead get your pint served at the Sky Bar on the top floor. While it is was pretty dark by the time I got there, it still has a lovely skyline. Like with everywhere else, the staff are friendly, helpful and passionate. Before you leave you might want to check out the gift shop where you can get all manner of silly and sensible gifts. You really can’t go to Dublin without visiting. And why would you not want to?