If you’re going to sample a pint of the black stuff, Dublin is the place to do it.
The Guinness Storehouse is one of the main attractions in Dublin, so on a recent trip to Ireland we decided to visit. I enjoy a beer, but spending the afternoon touring a brewery wouldn’t usually be my idea of fun.
But the Guinness Storehouse is a completely different experience.
As soon as you walk into the building, you know this is going to be something unique. Part museum, part interactive exhibit, part brand experience, the Guinness Storehouse has a funky, industrial feel: all neon lights, rivets and stripped down brick walls.
Touring the storehouse’s seven floors is a great way of learning about the history of Guinness and the eye-catching displays reveal the details of the brewing process in a creative and memorable way. Visitors are shown the famous 9,000 year lease for the Guinness factory, which is displayed in a glass floor case, before moving into the first part of the exhibit, which explores the different ingredients that make the beer. Think towering hop vines growing behind glass panels, neon lit fountains and vast trays of grain.
As you climb higher up the building’s central staircase – built in the shape of the world’s largest beer glass – you discover all kinds of surprising things. One of my favourite parts of the experience was a display exploring the history of the Guinness barrels and how they’re made. Barrels line the floor, each with a small screen inside that plays a film.
On floor two you’ll find the Taste Experience, where you can sample the black stuff and learn just how you should enjoy it. This is made up of two rooms, the first of which is like a cross between spaceship and science experiment. Completely white, the room features a bar and four pillars with vapour pouring out of them. Each pillar contains a different ingredient and you’re encouraged to wander round before collecting your mini sample and moving on to room two, which is all velvet and mood lighting. It’s in room two that you learn how to taste Guinness, moving the liquid to different parts of your tongue to detect the range of flavours.
After that it’s time to enjoy your complimentary pint. You have the choice of learning how to pull your own in the Guinness Academy, or you can head up to the Sky Bar on the 7th floor, which has a panoramic view of Dublin and out across to the Wicklow Mountains.
Hubby and I both worked in a bar during our university days, so we’ve pulled plenty of pints. That meant the Sky Bar was the obvious choice.
It was busy, even on a Thursday afternoon. But it’s worth braving the crowds to enjoy the stunning 360⁰ views over the city and beyond.
A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is definitely a good way to spend an afternoon in Dublin!