The Guinness storehouse in Dublin was a bit of an enigma for us. Touted as Ireland’s number one tourist attraction and as lovers of brewery tours, we knew we had to go (nb: book online, before you go, it’s cheaper…) but we weren’t expecting the custom made and kitted out Disney-esque extravaganza that greeted us.
Don’t get me wrong, we loved it, but it’s more of an interactive museum than a brewery. Realistically factoring in how much Guinness is produced, it would be impossible to have millions of visitors each year traipsing through a work environment. Each floor showcases a different aspect of the process, from ingredients, to marketing.
You start at the beginning, with the main ingredients; hops, barley, yeast and water. Simple. Twisting your way through the building, and slowly making your way via the circular (Guinness pint shaped, natch) atrium, each level reveals more about the processes involved.
I unexpectedly got my 101 in 1001 goal ‘Walk behind a waterfall’ complete… man-made counts right?
With years of running a pub, and thousands of pints poured under my belt we skipped the ‘how to pour a perfect pint’, and before long we were at the most important part – tasting. guided into a pure white room in order to ‘stop any distractions from the tasting process’. Four columns dominate the room, pouring nitrous oxide smoke with flavours of the ingredients, we were then ushered into another room, this time for a lesson in Guinness tasting.
Giant hand, normal pint or tiny pint, normal hand?
That done, and the thirsty work of wandering through Guinness marketing of the decades, we headed to the top of the atrium for a well deserved pint.