Advantages Well thought out tour
Disadvantages Entrance fee and souvenir shop a little expensive
My wife and I kept sightseeing in Dublin to a minimum. You can spend too much time looking at the main sights of a city and not mix enough with the local folk.Brewery in Amsterdam and the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen. So this was third time lucky.
I hold a few shares in Diageo, which owns Guinness. So it was nice as a shareholder to visit the premises.A hotel receptionist told me that some Irish men drank 20 pints of Guinness per night. This must increase the turnover of Diageo considerably.
There was a hop-on and hop-off tourist bus, which started from O’Connell Street.
HOW WE GOT THERE
We got tickets from the Irish Tourism Office. The atmosphere inside the office resembled a morgue. No one was smiling.Tickets cost 8 Irish pounds per adult.
The tourist bus departed every 15 minutes. It stopped at 15 tourist spots. You can hop off at any time. The next bus is less than 15 minutes away.These stops included the Wax Museum, Dublin Writers Museum, Trinity College, Grafton Street, Dublinia, Dublin Castle, Dublin Zoo, Jameson WhiskeyDistillery etc.
If no stops were made then the completed tour would take 1 hour and 15 minutes.The bus drivers gave excellent commentary. Both our drivers even sang during the tour.
The Guinness Storehouse was around stop 12.
The entrance to the Guinness Storehouse was about 3 minutes walk away from the bus stop. We immediately smelled the burning of hops from the nearby brewery.The entrance was not signposted very well. We simply followed the other tourists.
An escalator took us to the ground floor. Then an Irish lass warmly greeted us. The Storehouse was built on the original brewery site. The building was massive.There was not much of a queue at the ticket desk. Tickets cost 9.50 Irish pounds per person. But we got a 1 Irish pound discount per person by showing the tour bus tickets.
We were given 2 paperweights, which contained a few drops of Guinness. These also acted as tickets for our free drinks on the 6th floor.
The entrance to the exhibits was right behind the ticket counter.There were huge swirls of light in a darkened room. I later found out that this represented the inside of a pint of Guinness.
There were exhibits of all the ingredients of Guinness. These included water, barley, hops and yeast.There was also the original lease for St James’ Gate Brewery signed by Arthur Guinness in 1759.
There were stairs, lifts and escalators to other parts of the Storehouse.
Making Guinness involved milling, mashing, fermenting, maturing, clarifying and blending.There were various machines on the 1st floor demonstrating these processes.
I was surprised to learn that in the past Guinness was used for medicinal purposes.
In the past Guinness was stored in barrels.Some of the original barrels were on display on the 1st floor.
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