Guinness Storehouse Brewery, Dublin, Ireland
I was excited to be visiting Ireland for the first time. I also knew that it would be an adventure with TBEX Europe. The journey started with an excellent introduction. My friends, other TBEX attendees, and I arrived in the early morning from the states and headed directly to the flat we found through Airbnb which was in easy walking distance of the Guinness Storehouse. Unfortunately, we would not be able to drop our bags at the flat until later that day. Our friendly cab driver suggested that we check our bags at the Guinness check desk while we toured Storehouse. This simple piece of information started our trip off right.
To be honest, I had tried Guinness some years ago in the US and had not been impressed. How wrong I had been! Guinness is fantastic! In Ireland, they exercise such control of the brewing process and presentation it could only be fantastic.
One of my fellow travelers had arranged tickets for the Guinness tour. You can choose either the standard or connoisseur experience (which includes the tour and the tasting experience in a private bar). There is a charge for the tours, either self-guided or guided. Guests learn about the barley, the hops and the water used to make the beer to its fermentation temperature, the process of making the delicious caramel color concoction is detailed. Throughout the building, there are displays on transportation, advertising and it also contains four restaurants.
For a small additional charge, you may attend the Guinness Academy. There you will learn to you pour your own perfect pint under the direction of a master. I recommend this addition as you learn that the presentation of the beer is part of the entire Guinness experience. After your successful pour, you can then take your pint and climb to the Gravity bar for a pantomimic view of the city. What an introduction to Dublin and all before 11 in the morning!
Arthur Guinness bought the old brewery in 1759 and signed a nine thousand year lease for it. The lease is on display for all visitors to see as they enter.
The Storehouse was erected in 1904 and served as the fermentation plant until the 1980s. It is a towering building of seven floors of displays with much to read and learn about the process of creation of the best-loved beer in Ireland. By 1824, Guinness was known world-wide and by 1833, Guinness was the largest brewery in Ireland.
The Harp, the symbol of Guinness is prominently displayed on each glass and you can even play it. The Harp was imprinted on the first bottle of Guinness in 1862. The Irish Government later adopted the symbol as its official government symbol.
By 1886, Guinness was a publicly traded company and had become the largest brewery in the world. By 1929, 2 million pints were sold daily and by 1950, it had increased to five million pints were being sold daily. In 2000, the Guinness Storehouse opened to the public. By 2008, 10 million pints were being enjoyed daily.
Just for the record, there are approximately 198 calories in a pint of Guinness and it is the best selling stout in the world.
Guinness can be found in nearly every country and I doubt it will ever be overtaken in its’ homeland. It is truly Ireland’s home brew.