Guinness is disgusting - There I said it.
|Guinness Storehouse, St James Gate, Dublin|
I feel sorry for poor souls who think they have to drink a whole pint in order to really experience Ireland.
You don't have to – we understand. It is an acquired taste.
You wouldn't eat a whole jar of Vegemite to get the Australia experience so don't do it here - if you must order a glass!
Saying that I love Guinness, I love the two tone colour, the complicated skill of pouring the perfect pint, the symbolism, the creative ads and the name brand. So when my my friend returned home from OZ on hols and suggested we visit the Guinness Storehouse, I jumped at the chance.
|Indoor waterfall, Guinness Storehouse|
Seven story's high and surrounded in a glass atrium shape in the form in a pint of Guinness, the storehouse is a superb look at what goes into the legendary stout. Stepping over the precious 9,000 year old lease signed by Arthur Guinness (the genius behind the black stuff) you start on your journey through the main ingredients of water, barley, hops and yeast. The indoor waterfall gives a lovely background for photos as well as a surreal visual display.
An interactive digital man takes you through the process of mixing the ingredients, roasting, boiling and settling the liquid – and all the rigorous tests that the Guinness undertakes before it hits the road in the barrel.
|Learning the trade, Guinness Storehouse|
As a past bar maid in Ireland, I can let you in on a secret the reason why Guinness tastes so good in Irish bars is of course that we know how to pour it, but also because more people drink it here the pipes are cleaned religiously. In other countries the Guinness may not be as popular and so will not need the same amount of cleaning and maintenance.
One of the best exhibits in the storehouse for me was the adverts. You can go all the way back to the very first Guinness ad and keep watching as the creative brand makes a name for itself all over the world using wacky ideas.
There is a new drinking responsible quiz and tips and a new find your Guinness roots part as well as a short film on the amount of events Guinness sponsor around the world.
|Views from the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse|
If you have never had a proper pint of Guinness or are intrigued by the pouring process I recommend you enter the Guinness Academy and learn how to expertly pour your own pint (you get a keep sake cert too to show your friends back home). As I obviously know how to pour, we moved up to the Gravity Bar for some stunning views of Dublin's Fair City. We got our complimentary pints and after using them as photo props we passed them on to those more grateful for the "distinctive" taste.
|Good things come to those who wait!|
Tip: Buy your ticket on line – it is a little bit cheaper (€14.50 compared to €16) and prepare to leave with a Guinness moustache!