Guinness Storehouse – Dublin, Ireland
When I went to Dublin in July 2017, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse was a must. Not because I like Guinness (I don’t) but it’s one of those things that you have to do. Like coming to New York City as a tourist and not going to Times Square. It might be highly overrated, but you’re going to go anyway.
I went on my second to last day and I made the ace decision to reserve tickets online the day before for a morning tour (because what better time is there for a tour of a brewery than 10am?) and I waited on zero lines and was shown straight through the gate to the group that I’d be walking around with. I have to mention how absolutely massive the Storehouse (campus?) is. It’s basically a university campus. I was staying in a hotel that was across the street from the Storehouse and it took me a good 20 minutes to walk around the other side where the main gates were. You could easily get lost and never be found. Ever. (But you’d have unlimited beer, so: all good.)
The tour starts in an area on the main floor where the original lease that Arthur Guinness signed in the early 1900’s. It was a 9000 year lease. I guess he was pretty confident he’d do well.
We learned about the brewing process, the barrels they use, where the water comes from that Guinness uses, among other things. We had the opportunity after the tour to “learn to pour the perfect pint” for an upcharge, but in the end I decided to skip it. I live in New York City and I can count on one hand all of the times I’ve had the opportunity to pour a pint, so I’ll continue to leave that to the pros (e.g. the bartenders).
The climax of the Guinness Storehouse the top floor (there were 7 floors, I believe) that’s called the “Gravity Bar.” You get a free pint of Guinness and panoramic views of Dublin. Dublin is a pretty flat and tiny city, but it was still an amazing view. I could only finish half of my Guinness before saying goodbye (hey, it was before noon!), but I picked up a few items in the gift shop and bid Arthur Guinness’ legacy farewell.
Overall: I’m glad I went. It’s a more mature experience than, say, the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t just as interesting an experience.