When you think of European tourist attractions, naturally the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum come to mind. Visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin does not…but it should. According to the World Travel Awards, visiting the Guinness Storehouse is Europe’s top tourist attraction, beating out Roman ruins and pointy towers. For me, visiting the Guinness storehouse has long been on my bucket list as I love Guinness. This new crowning, however, gave me an excuse to see what all the fuss is about.
As Irish as it Comes
While touring Ireland on my European Road Trip with Auto Europe Car Rentals I got to see a lot of the country. Little did I know that visiting the Guinness Storehouse would be one of the most Irish things I did. Let me explain. With as little as 100£ down, Arthur Guinness was able to secure his spot in Ireland for an incredible 9000 years. At only 45£ per year, the table was set to become Ireland’s biggest brewery. To brew his famous stout, Arthur Guinness’s savvy business sense continued by securing the rights to use local spring water, a battle that took 10 years in court. Guinness also uses 2/3’s of Ireland’s barley production with some farms being the same for generations.
So sampling a Guinness in Ireland truly is like sampling Ireland, and I was going to do just that.
Through the Ages
Visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Ireland is also visiting one of the world’s most modern and interactive brewery experiences. Unlike what I found visiting the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, Guinness manages to share its story in a less cheesy way. Sure there are moments that are a little over-the-top (like the smoke-filled room for the senses leading up to the perfect pour) but I found it much of a less dumbed down Disney-like experience than other breweries. Highlights included the stories behind Guinness’s famous ad campaigns through the years and the building itself – one massive pint glass. At the center of it all lies Arthur Guinness’s famous lease for his now famous brewery.
Continuing on through the smoke and mirrors of the “senses room,” our day visiting the Guinness Storehouse shifted to the science behind the perfect point. To achieve this it takes the right temperature, skilled hands, and a lot of patients. First, the perfect pint of Guinness is served at 6°C – no more, no less. Next, the poor begins at an angle of 45-degrees aimed at the famous Guinness harp on the glass, stopping half way at the harp. Lastly, and most excruciatingly, the pint has to settle for 86 seconds before topping it off with a creamy dome. Watching the nitrogen bubbles dance is mesmerizing and a challenge not to touch but as their 1998 ad campaign states, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Top it Off
After being certified as pouring the perfect pint (although admittedly mine was less than perfect), our day visiting the Guinness Storehouse was topped off with an amazing view from the Gravity Bar. The 7th-floor bar offers a 360-degree view of Dublin and pairs nicely with a perfectly poured Guinness straight from the source. Best part is this pint is included in your admission fee. Refills are extra but recommended.
Visiting the Guinness Storehouse – Best of Europe?
For it’s deep Irish roots and interactive displays, I can see why visiting the Guinness Storehouse tops Europe’s to do list. Then again, I really love Guinness and the 3 pints from the Gravity Bar could be influencing me. Either way and Guinness fan or not, visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a must if you want to truly understand this proud Irish export.
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Although I was provided a complimentary tour while visiting the Guinness Storehouse,
the experience, opinions, and 4 pints of where my own.