For many people when they hear the word Ireland, the first thing that comes to mind may be drinking. (Shame on you!) But if this is the case you are most certainly in luck! The first thing that comes to mind when you think of an Irish drink is likely a nice tall Guinness, and if you happen to find yourself in Dublin, you can take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse and see where that glass of dark alcoholic goodness comes from. Located in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s number one Dublin tourist attraction.
For the price of less than 15 Euros, guests are welcome to a self-guided tour of Ireland’s second oldest brewery. This indoor tour is especially good for a rainy day, which is quite common in Ireland. Perfect for a half-day activity, the storehouse is loaded with history and activities. Be sure to buy your tickets online in order to avoid waiting in line to get in. It tends to get rather crowded, which is why the self-guided tour works out well. You can go at your own pace, exploring all the facility has to offer, while some will head right upstairs to the bar. One way to avoid crowds is to go later in the day once the rush has ended, or get there early in the morning; perfect if you fancy a brew with your breakfast.
The building of the Guinness storehouse tour consists of several floors which you walk up until you reach the top, and there is a ton to see along the way. The history of the brewing process is depicted through a number of displays and presentations. There are some really cool interactive exhibits, including a record with which you can check to see if you have any ancestors that were employed at the brewery. You do not, however, get to actually see the Guinness being brewed. This process is only showed on screens throughout the building. This is somewhat disappointing, although the fact that every tour comes with a voucher for a free pint that you get to pour yourself at the Guinness Academy might make you feel a little better about it!
The tour culminates on the top floor where there are a few restaurants, including the legendary Gravity Bar. Pull your own pint of Guinness and take in a breathtaking view of Dublin in its entirety. It gets rather crowded, but the view through the glass walls is well worth it! The reviews of the food are mostly very good. Once you have finished your food and drink, you take an elevator back down to the first floor.
This may not be the best place to bring your kids, and most reviews note the high prices of the food and gift shop items. However, if you seek a leisurely brewery tour full of interesting history and the best view in Dublin, look no further than the Guinness Storehouse.