On my first visit to Dublin, more than fifteen years ago, my friend and I did the Guinness tour. Christine was thrilled to have a pint in Ireland, me, not so much as I didn’t drink beer then (yes, I know, Guinness is not beer – Guinness is in it’s own category). As a non-drinker, I was more fascinated about the process of making Guinness and appreciated the history of the factory and it’s importance to Ireland (sadly, tours of the factory ended in the 70’s due to health/safety). When I saw that the conference opening party would be held at the Guinness Storehouse, I was excited to return to Guinness (I still don’t drink beer or Guinness) and tour the new space, called the Storehouse with their Gravity Bar.
Guinness Storehouse Self Guided Tour
Arriving by cab, my friend and I could hear the music as we walked toward the entrance. The festive music was accompanied by stilt walkers and a man spinning fire sticks. Leaving the entertainment outside, we took the escalator up one floor (definitely look up here to see how massive the place really is but of course watch your step and don’t fall off).
What’s really cool is that the Atrium space is the world’s largest pint glass, so you are entering from the bottom as you fill your way to the top with the experience of Guinness. You need to admire the creativity in the architectural planning of the space.
Here are some images of the self guided Guinness Storehouse tour as you pass through the various spaces as you fill your pint:
Ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast which are natural) and the Craft of Brewing
Cooperage and Transportation
This section was a unique way to display and explain how the barrels and transportation are important in the Guinness production process. Rather than read boards on the wall, why not read the barrels? It’s more fun.
Advertising and Sponsorship
I would spend a good amount of time in the advertising and sponsorship areas as it’s a walk through history. The use of the colorful characters, simple messages and yet realizing it was a beer ad. Understanding what was going on at the time is also another layer to the experience as you can appreciate how important it was to make people laugh and smile at the animals.
Guinness Storehouse Tasting Room
We would stop and wait to enter the Guinness Storehouse tasting room. The tasting room controls the crowd and since this was a private event, the line was short as was the wait. During public hours, the waits may vary on the time of the year. Entering the bright white room you are blinded a bit and then you see the cold air smoke coming from the bar – the effect is magical.
Our guide would instruct us to take a glass of two day old Guinness without drinking it and follow him to the next room. This room was a stark contrast to the futuristic smoky white room, it was wood paneled and contained portraits. Our guide explained the best way to drink Guinness – first take a breath, second sniff the Guinness, take a sip and swirl it on your tongue before swallowing. I did as told hoping to be magically transported to the land of those who drink/like beer (Guinness) – sadly, magic would not happen this night – I’m still not a fan of the drink, however, I can fully appreciate the many steps and dedication that goes into producing Guinness.
Guinness Storehouse Private Event – The Gravity Bar
After our tasting, we made our way to the first of three floors where the party was in full swing. With food stations, open bar and live music performances, it was a great opening event for the conference. Actually, it was a great space to hold a private event like a corporate party or even a wedding reception. Mingling here and there, I was more interested in reaching the top of my pint glass at The Gravity Bar and was not disappointed. With 360 degree panorama views of the city, the dark night was lit up by the lights of Dublin. With descriptions of the views etched into the windows, I can envision a sunny day when you can read about the view in front of you. With comfortable seating you could sit back, relax and enjoy your pint (or other drink in my case). With the twinkling lights of Dublin in the background, people were meeting new friends over a pint and to me, that’s what Guinness does – connects people over a pint.
Guinness Storehouse Non-Drinker View
The Guinness Storehouse is a fun place to visit in Dublin even if you don’t drink beer (Guinness). You can follow your own journey to the top and find the space that you enjoy along the way – whether it is in the Brewers Hall restaurant (or other dining options), obtaining your certificate for “Pouring the Perfect Pint”, experiencing the tasting room or inserting yourself into a classic advertisment. The space is interactive and interesting laid out from the bottom of the pint glass to the top – so have fun exploring!