Discovering Dublin: Guinness Storehouse
It goes without saying that Guinness is a must do when visiting Dublin. There is a reason it is the number one tourist attraction in Dublin and one of the top tourist sites in all of Europe. As someone who has now been to the Guinness Storehouse six times (yes, six!), I can tell you from personal experience that this is something you will not want to miss! Guinness is open all year apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephen’s Day. Opening hours are 9:30am-7pm. Last admission is 5pm.
I would highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance as this is an extremely popular tour and you do not want to be disappointed by missing out. You can purchase your tickets online here and print them on a machine in the reception area once you arrive. Be sure to hold onto your ticket because this entitles you to one pint or a soft drink.
In terms of what day/time is best to go…the answer is whenever. I have been to tours on the weekend and weekdays and it is always busy. Just go in knowing it will be slightly crowded but it is worth it! As you move past the ground floor people will scatter out a bit making it less claustrophobic.
Once you have your ticket and are checked in make your way through each floor and learn what goes into making a perfect pint of Guinness.
The tour begins on the ground floor in largest beer glass in the world. Did you know that it would take 14.3 million pints to fill the giant glass atrium in the centre of the Guinness Storehouse building?! The tour is self-guided but before you begin there is a welcome bit where a member of staff will give you some facts on Guinness and information about the tour. You are not required to do this part but if you have never done the tour before I would recommend listening in. From here there are a few photo opportunities to get your tourist pictures before starting the tour. The retail store is also located on the ground floor to pick up all your gifts and souvenirs.
The next stop on the ground floor, Our Brewing Story, tells the story of the beer's four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast). The water part is my favourite and is another opportunity for a photo op!
The first floor houses The Arthur Guinness Story, the Cooperage & Transport exhibition as well as the Cooperage Café. The Cooperage & Transport exhibitions shows how Guinness has been traveling the world since 1769. Guinness is currently shipped to over 150 countries worldwide! If you’re feeling peckish Guinness offers no shortage of food choices in house with the Cooperage Café being one of them. Be warned though, like most tourist attractions, the food at this café is average and overpriced.
On the second floor experience The Tasting Room. Begin the journey of challenging your senses by walking through a dark hall (think when you’re walking into the cinema) and then right into the bright white aroma room. Here you will find swirling vapours of key tastes found in a Guinness - malted barley, beer esters, hops and roasted barley. End the tasting learning how to properly enjoy Guinness in the Velvet Chamber.
If you have never had Guinness and aren’t sure if you’ll like a whole pint of it, The Tasting Room is a great way to try it. If you do not like Guinness or you want to try some more of what Guinness has to offer outside of their classic, be sure to pop into The Arrol where you can sample more that Guinness also brew. You have the choice 4 choices and can select 3 from the following options – Foreign Extra Stout, Hop House 13, Citra IPA, or Open Gate Pure Brew (non-alcoholic!).If you already know you like Guinness, then use The Tasting Room to get even more of it!
The World of Advertising located on the third floor is an immersive experience into over eighty years of ground-breaking print, digital and TV campaigns. This exhibit has been on for a while (at least since 2015 when I first saw it) but it is a cute photo op and interesting to see how Guinness have marketed their product over the years.
There is no doubt that the advertising is creative. The one question that the exhibit left me wondering was how much do Guinness spend on marketing?
Looking to learn how to pour that perfect pint of Guinness? Head to the famous Guinness Academy on the fourth floor. Enjoy the pint you perfectly poured and receive a Guinness certificate from the academy. You can also book a private bar for the Connoisseur Experience with a personal guide to talk you through the flavours. I have never done this, but it might make a cool once-in-a-lifetime gift for someone special you are visiting Dublin with!
Hungry? The fifth floor offers a bit more of a culinary experience than the Cooperage Café. The Brewer’s Dining Hall, the 1837 Bar & Brasserie, and Arthur’s Bar can all be found on this floor, each offering more than a sandwich and a packet of crisps.
The last floor, and my personal favourite – The Gravity Bar! There is truly no better pint of Guinness in town than one poured in the Gravity Bar or in the Guinness Academy. Enjoy your perfect pint with 360-degree views of Dublin’s skyline. I wish you the best of luck to find a seat in here and to get that perfect Instagram shot of your pint with the city in the background.
Guinness Storehouse, St James's Gate, Dublin 8 |+353014084800
*all images original to Candid Alexandra