Home » Gastronomic Travel » Gastronomic Ireland – Part 6 – Discovering the Guinness Storehouse
Gastronomic Ireland – Part 6 – Discovering the Guinness Storehouse

Gastronomic Ireland – Part 6 – Discovering the Guinness Storehouse

Gastronomic Ireland Part 6 – Discovering the Guinness Storehouse

Guinness exterior 1

If you visit Dublin, your vacation will inevitably lead you to the Guinness Storehouse.  This destination  has turned into a bigger tourist site than the famed Book of Kells. Unlike Trinity College, at the Guinness Storehouse you can drink beer while you learn.  During my recent Gastronomic Trip to Ireland, I visited the Guinness Storehouse, for educational purposes ;) This article will provide tips for navigating your way through this busy tourist attraction to maximize your vacation time. . Spoiler alert, your admission includes two pints of Guinness. :)

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Guinness Pour 1

Visiting the Guinness Storehouse is at least a three hour experience. If you consider transportation time from your hotel, it will last the better part of a full half day. There is a lot to see at the Guinness storehouse from the ingredients tour to the Gravity Bar. Let’s walk through the experience.

How to get there

Getting to the Guinness Storehouse is an easy walk from the Temple Bar Area of Dublin. It will take you about 20 minute walk if you don’t stop to take picture or buy cheap souvenirs. You can also take the horse drawn carriages or a taxi if you are in a hurry. There is no need to rent a car if you are visiting Dublin.

Directions

Using the Temple Bar is a starting point, get yourself to Dame street and keep walking east (fight the urge to verge left or right) the streets will change names from Damme to Lord Edward to High Street to Thomas Street.  When you see Thomas Court, turn left. Look for these signs.

Guinness Getting there collage

Look for these signs when walking to the Guinness Storehouse.

Learning About Guinness

The Atrium

Guinness Atrium collageThe atrium is ground floor of the visitors’ center and is where you enter the Guinness Storehouse experience. If you stand at the center of the atrium and look up you will see it raises seven stories and forms in the shape of a pint of Guinness.  The space, if filled with Guinness would cold 14.3 million pints of Guinness. This space is used to be a grain store.The real factory is located down the block in St. James Gate. 

Bustling street scene in front of Market Street Storehouse at St. James's Gate Brewery c1955

What is St. James Gate?

This area was actually a gated entrance to the city during the middle ages.  The name stuck, such that the Guinness Brewery is commonly called the St. James Gate Brewery. The parcel of land was purchased by Arthur Guinness in 1759 on a 9,000 year lease.

 

The Guinness Self-Guided Tour

What makes a perfect stout beer? 

The first thing you get to experience  is a tactile tour of the ingredients that go into making a pint of Guinness.  You will walk through displays showing the four ingredients of Guinness: water, barley, hops, and yeast.

Guinness Ingredients collage

Grains, hops, yeast, water are the key ingredients that make up Guinness.

As you enter the brewing process portion of the tour, video monitors display videos of Mater Brewer, Fergel Murray, explaining the entire brewing process. It was very interesting to see how the art of combining the four ingredients creates the perfect stout.  When you finish this portion of the tour, you get an appreciation for how the classic beer making tradition and modern technology have collided to produce craft beer on a massive scale.

Guinness brewing collage 1

Appreciating a sample of Guinness

Perhaps the best part of the tour is the end, but that is where you get to sample Guinness and learn a little more about the finished product. The first thing they demonstrated was how to properly pour a pint of Guinness.

Guinness tour drink 1

I was schooled when I learned that the nickname “the black stuff” is actually inaccurate; Guinness is actually a dark ruby color. Guinness Tour 2

Guinness Advertising Exhibit

mygoodnessThe one area that I thought was going to be boring was the “advertising and sponsorship” gallery.  This space turned out to me one of my favorite areas. It was very fascinating to watch the advertising evolve from print posters to gaudy 1980’s television commercials. Perhaps their most famous is the Gilroy’s Animal series with the tagline “my goodness, my Guinness.” Although terribly touristy , I participated in one of their most popular attractions, taking your picture in one of their classic prints.

Guinness Advertising Collage

I’m Hungry

Brewer’s Dinning Hall

For foodies there are a couple options that will interest you. First is visiting the Brewer’s Dining Hall, which is a cafeteria format restaurant. They make high quality dishes, using Guinness as a core ingredient.

Guinness Food collage 1

We tried the Beef and Guinness stew. I have never tried beef and Guinness stew before and I was extremely impressed. Look for future posts that I will feature articles about cooking and pairing with Guinness. There are a lot of recipes out there.

Gilroy’s

If you are looking to settle in and relax in a bistro style setting, then I recommend you visit Gilroy’s. They food is a more fancy and you will get table-side service. You will be doing a lot of walking in the Guinness Storehouse, if you have time I recommend this restaurant if time and budget permits.

Guinness food 1

I Want More Guinness

Arthur’s Bar

Suppose you just want to sit back and enjoy a pint of Guinness, then go to Arthur’s bar on the 5th floor. From the 5th floor you can view the St. James Brewery in action. When you see the steam billowing out, that means that the brew has reached Wort. You can enjoy some nice Guinness based bar food at Arthur’s, very similar to The Brewer’s Dinning Hall, but here it can be paired a Pint.

Guinness Arthur Bar Collage

Gravity Bar

The Gravity Bar is the most popular attraction at the Guinness Storehouse. At the top of the six story visitor center you get a panoramic 360 degree view of Dublin.

Guinness Gravity 2

Aside from the spectacular views, you can enjoy your two pints of Guinness that are included with admission. Note, if you use one of your coupons at the Guinness Academy, you will only have one glass left.  It can get pretty busy up here, be sure to scope out chair by the window before you compete for a Guinness at the bar. 

Guinness Gravity Bar collage 1

The Guinness Academy

At the Guinness academy you will learn the six steps in creating the perfect pint of Guinness and then get an opportunity to try it out yourself. After your successfully poured your pint, you get to keep it.  In addition, you will get a diploma to pin to your fridge. Your mother will be proud of you. 

Guinness

Learn the essential six steps for pouring the perfect pint of Guinness.

The Guinness Connoisseur Bar

The Guinness Connoisseur Bar is the most exclusive Guinness tasting experience in the world. During this tasting and learning experience, you will have a Guinness tasting expert walk you through tastings of each of Guinness’s four most popular variants  – Draught, Original, Foreign Extra Stout and Black Lager.This experience is an extra $25 and requires early reservations, although I think it is worth the price and time.

GUINNESS cON cOLLAGE 3

Just like a private wine tasting, the Guinness Connoisseur Tasting Experience covers pouring, tasting notes, history and comparisons. I left very educated about Guinness variants and learned that I love their Black Lager. I also learned that they love Foreign Extra Stout in Africa. Considering there are only three small classes a day, you will be in an elite crowd.  You can brag about this to your friends. http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/Connoisseur-Bar.aspx

Guinness Con 3

Guinness

 

If you plan on taking a trip to Dublin, a top at the Guinness Storehouse is a must. Plan on spending at least 4 hours for this experience. Even if you don’t care for stout beer, you will leave with a new appreciation for Guinness.

http://www.guinness-storehouse.com/

Costs and Logistics

Adult Tickets:  14.85 Euro

Open 7 days a week 9:30am-5pm (last admission at 5pm)

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About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.

20 comments

  1. We watched a documentary on Guinness before since stouts & porters are our favorites; it was fascinating, especially the CO2 tech! I also think people would enjoy learning the science behind why they do a half-pour before filling it up when pouring draft.

  2. I am not a guinness drinker, but i would go there and have one or so! Looked like an awesome tour!

    • I am not a regular Guinness drinker myself, but after learning to taste correctly I liked it much more. The have a new beer called black lager which blends a lager and port. Very delicious.

  3. I’m not a Guinness fan but being of Irish decent on my Mother’s side means it’s a bit deal in our family! I can even remember my Mum telling me she’d been told to drink it every day when she was pregnant! Fortunately she couldn’t stand the taste so didn’t. I love Ireland though – it looks like you had an awesome time!

    • Jo, I actually heard about pregnant women being fed guiness by their mothers as a nutritiinal suppliment as well. Before the age of lawyers Guinness used to advertise Guinness for its health benefits

  4. We love Guinness in Jamaica where I’m from. Looks like you had an awesome time!

  5. My daughter loved being in Ireland. She thought it was beautiful and loved the beer!!

  6. One day I dream of going here. I never knew about the brewery but def will put in on my list. I love that you can drink beer while learning about it.

  7. I’ve never been to a brewery before. Looks like you had fun. The dinning hall alone would be reason enough for me to go! I wonder if there’s a local one here in Montreal! =) Thanks for posting!

  8. This is great you can drink beer while you learn

  9. I love going to breweries and learning the process behind the beer making! This is a trip thats on my bucket list!

  10. I’ve never tried Guiness, only Guinness pie and it is DELISH.

  11. Guinness me Tom, I love that stout dark beer :)

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