Guinness Brewery

Dublin – The Guinness Storehouse Tour & Tasting Room as a Non Drinker

Posted on Posted in Activities/Experiences, Dublin

Guinness DublinOn 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).

Band at Guinness
Festive music and stilt walker at Guinness party

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.

Guinness Storehouse and Shopping Dublin
Entrance to the self guided Guinness Storehouse tour and shopping
Guinness Storehouse Dublin design
Interesting industrial design elements and modern touches at the Guinness Storehouse Dublin

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

Guinness Storehouse water
The writing on the wall – Water is precious to the process
Guinness Storehouse Dublin water
Water is key to a brewmaster especially at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
All about the Barley
All about the Irish grown Barley that goes into a Guinness
Guinness Storehouse Tour Yeast
Explaining how yeast is important in the Guinness process

 

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.

Cooperage and Transportation at Guinness
Cooperage and Transportation at Guinness

 

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 Advertising and Sponsorship Gallery
Guinness Advertising and Sponsorship Gallery
You too can be in the Guinness Ad! Sit on the bench on the left and seemlessly appear in the ad
You too can be in the Guinness Ad! Sit on the bench on the left and seemlessly appear in the ad

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.

The tasting room experience
The tasting room experience

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 Tasting Room Dublin
My fresh brewed (two hours old) Guinness in the Tasting Room at the Guinness Storehouse

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.

Gravity Bar Guinness Storehouse
Gravity Bar – at the top of the Guiness Storehouse Pint Glass
The glass walls of the Gravity Bar explain history of the views
The glass windows of the Gravity Bar explain history of the views

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!

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