With our friends Anthony & Megan in Dublin from America for some days, we chose to join them at Ireland’s #1 tourist attraction — The Guinness Storehouse Experience. My suggestion was to arrange a sitter for the kids and make it an adult-only trip but Nils said how much Soren, at 7, would love it. Well, after about 40 minutes and queuing in lines – both were done with it all.
We went on a Monday at 11 am – so the lines were fine… but I could only imagine the lines and crowds during the weekend. Once you go through and pay [TIP: Avoid the lines & book online with a 10% discount]. You come up an escalator to a tour guide who gives a very brief speech about Arthur Guinness and points out the 9,000 YEAR lease, which is displayed in the glass in the floor.
From there you head out on your own, self-guided tour. If you couldn’t read English, there are electronic devices in several languages which take you through an audio tour.
On the right side you have hundreds of Guinness bottles from the years and on the left is a great souvenir shop with tons of great stuff. I picked up a 2015, heavy-duty, bottle opener magnet for the fridge.
The first exhibits show how the “black stuff” is made with four ingredients – barley, hops, yeast and water.
I was a huge fan of the water behind the blue lights… I had the kids toss a coin in for good luck. The water that is used to brew the beer comes from the Wicklow Mountains and not from the River Liffey like most believe.
The second floor told about the magical 5th ingredient – Arthur Guinness himself. You move from portrait to portrait. Once you stood in front of it, it began to move and talk. Soren & I were cracking up as it was so real – like the eyes moved with you as you walked away.
A display explained how it was transported by horses, trains, barges, ships and trucks to over 150 countries around the world!! In fact, a different recipe was used which contained more alcohol for the longer journey.
As you go up you come to a few different bars and restaurants (didn’t go in any of them), various advertising & memorabilia, interactive computers and so much more.
As you headed up a level you get to the tasting experience, where you can smell four different scents (Soren loved this part), then take a tiny glass of cold beer into a dark, oak room with portraits of the various men involved with the brewery.
You were then taught about how to drink it properly and once done, sent outside to learn how to pour your own Guinness. At this point, Soren and Maebh headed up to the bar with Nils and us three stayed back to learn the art of a proper pour by Oshin.
Soren was enjoyed different things but liked the barley grains which he kept touching – probably like a sandbox. Maebh was either tossing coins into the waterfall or the giant bottle cap chair.
At the top, on floor 7, is the gravity bar which overlooks the entire city. The bar up there was closed, but you could still enjoy the view with the pint you poured downstairs.
Overall I had a great day at the Guinness Store House Experience. My photos don’t do justice – so click here to see their website. It was interesting, my first time drinking a pint of Guinness!! I’d highly recommend it to both tourists & locals. I also think it would be a fabulous place to work! I thought it would be a great opportunity to try something very “touristy” which I have never done before. We try to do a lot of touristy things while here in Ireland and truthfully have done more stuff around Ireland from the Burren to Dingle to Cork up to Carlingford but need want to do more in Dublin proper. Weather pending, we hope to take the Viking Splash Tour tomorrow.
Would I go back – Yes definitely! I would gladly accompany any of our out-of-town guests and would to try a meal in one of their many restaurants. Alternatively, I would HIGHLY recommend all our out-of-town guests go – we’ll watch their kids so they can enjoy thoroughly what we did. Remember, book online – save money and time in those long lines!! Oh and do it the day you do the Hop On & Off Bus as it’s in an area not too central to public transport.