The absolute first thing I did upon arriving in Ireland was drop off my luggage and head over to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. As someone who loves a good stout, I was eager to visit Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction and learn more about Arthur Guinness and enjoy a pint (or two) of the black stuff while on my tour of where Guinness started brewing back in 1759.
Much later on in 1904, the Storehouse was built by was built by Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd for use as a fermentation house, and by December 2000 it opened the visitors center, which I had the chance to tour.
The Storehouse is impressively large with 7 floors to explore, and as an added bonus your admission ticket includes a complimentary glass of Guinness.
The Storehouse is a busy place, not only is it the most popular tourist attraction in Dublin but it also produces 3 millions of pints of Guinness every day, making it the biggest stout export brewery in the world.
The ground floor of the Storehouse is dedicated to a large retail store where you can buy all your Guinness related souvenirs, and to the history of the brewing Guinness. As you move up the floors you can learn about Guinness history, and how the beer is transported, advertising, and try out more interactive experiences in the tasting experience, the Guinness experience, the Gravity Bar and the various restaurants.
The Tasting Experience
With so much to explore you can easily fill up an entire afternoon exploring the Guinness Storehouse. As someone who loves through first-hand experiences, The Tasting Experience on the 2nd floor and the Guinness Academy on the 4th floor were my two favorite exhibits.
In the tasting experience, you enter a crisp white room with 4 large vents where you can smell the various elements that makeup Guinness including barley, hops, and malt. After smelling the vapors you are given the opportunity to try a small sample of Guinness.
Next, you get to move on to the Velvet Chamber which starkly contrasts the previous ultra-modern white room where you get to learn how to properly taste Guinness in a guided tasting again with a sample.
The Guinness Academy
Further up on the 4th floor, I enrolled in The Guinness Academy where I got to take a small group class to learn how to pour Ireland’s most famous drink – Guinness. Instead of the getting the free beer in the Gravity Bar, you can trade in your free beer to take The Guinness Academy instead, where you will still get a pint and after the class, you are free to bring the pint up to The Gravity Bar to enjoy the view. The Guinness Academy course goes over the 6 steps to pour the perfect pint of Guinness where you get the opportunity to step behind the bar and are challenged to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.
Resturants & Gravity Bar
Within the Storehouse there are several restaurants and bars, such as the Brewer’s Dining Hall that have various meals available made with Guinness, that you can go to which are perfect for a lunch or dinner post exploring all the floors.
Up on the top floor is the highly popular Gravity Bar, which is the highest bar in Dublin and offers a breath-taking 360 view of Dublin. It is also on this floor that you can get your free pint of Guinness from the central bar.
Sláinte (cheers)! I recommend the factory as a must see experience if you are in Dublin, as I was highly entertained by the interactive exhibits and learned so much about the stout I would be enjoying throughout my travels through Ireland.