No trip to Dublin (or even Ireland) would be complete without a trip to the famed Guinness Brewery. For many beer enthusiasts, a visit to the brewery is almost a pilgrimage of sorts. The national Irish drink is a Guinness stout, a dark brew made with roasted malt. The Dublin Guinness Brewery is located west of central Dublin on St. James’s Street in the colorful Liberties area. Helping to quench the world’s thirst for finely crafted, flavorful beer, the brewery brews several million pints of stout every day. The Guinness Storehouse, the brewery’s new museum, pays homage to Ireland’s national beer, with a museum of beer-making, a gallery of clever ads, and the spectacular Gravity Bar.
Founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, the brewery actually has a 9,000-year-old lease on the property. As the years have passed, the business has slowly expanded across the street and all the way to the Liffey River. The brewery spans roughly 60 acres. At one time, the Dublin Guinness Brewery was the largest brewery in the world. Besides its key role in the world of beer, the brewery is part of Ireland’s history. In Dublin Guinness has become a prominent part of the city’s identity. The beer is the city’s most popular tourist beverage and the Guinness Brewery Dublin’s most popular destination.
Visitors can explore the brewery’s museum, the Guinness Storehouse. The museum opened in December 2000, replacing the smaller Guinness Hop Store. The Guinness Storehouse is the only part of the brewery open to visitors, and there are no tours of the actual working brewery. The Storehouse is located within an old cast-iron-and-brick warehouse, with six floors built around a huge beer glass-shaped atrium. The exhibition details the history of the brewery and also delineates the beer-making process. With huge copper brewing tanks and a roaring man-made waterfall, visitors can get a larger-than-life viewing of how the famous stout is crafted. Visitors can also read about the history of the Guinness family and gander at antique brewery equipment.
While sometimes a bit over-the-top, the Storehouse offers an entertaining look at the world-renowned Irish stout. Admission is reasonable, and Guinness Storehouse visitors also receive a pint of the famed Guinness at the end of the tour. The drinks are served in the Gravity Bar located at the very top of the building. The floor-to-ceiling bar windows offer a spectacular 360-degree view of the city of Dublin. From the top of the Guinness Brewery Dublin is breathtaking. There is a gift shop located on the ground floor, where devote drinkers can purchase glasses, t-shirts, caps, old-fashioned advertisement posters, and other fun merchandise associated with the dark stout.
Upon leaving the Guinness Brewery Dublin visitors can wander around the corner to No 1 Thomas Street, where Arthur Guinness lived. Whether you’re an avid stout drinker or simply enjoy a good walk down memory lane, the Dublin Guinness Brewery is a great place to sample a bit of Irish culture.
Top image: armin.wiedemann (flickr)