One of my many requests while we were in Dublin was to visit the Guinness Factory. I had been once before when I was in Ireland with friends but I was sadly hungover for the whole tour and couldn’t even drink my pint at the end of it. I have since learned, plus I barely drink now, but this time I did not go to the Guinness Factory hungover. It was the one rainy day we had in two weeks and we could not have timed it better. We headed into the city centre and found our way to St. James’ Gates. Upon entering the tour is self guided and you can take as long or as little time as you like. Dave had already been as well but the great thing about the exhibition is they change it all the time! Sure it was packed with tourists, but it was still a lot of fun and we had a great time. I would highly recommend it if you plan to visit Dublin anytime.
The exhibition is shaped in a pint glass so you climb numerous floors before you make it to the top. Along the way there are facts about the brewing process and the Guinness family. All things I can’t remember as I write this in March since I was there in December. But nonetheless it was fascinating and they did it in such a manner that it was never boring. There were informational videos along the way too so you could sit (if you could find a spot,) and relax a bit. I loved the old advertisements they showed because let’s be honest Guinness’ marketing is amazing and really well done. I love the different cartoon animals they’ve had over the years as well as the pulling at the heart string ads. They’ve really done it all!
Dave enjoyed the videos about the barrel making and stood at that point of the exhibition for some time. Before you make it to the bar at the top that overlooks the city of Dublin you enter a tasting room. Here you are able to taste and smell the beers and have someone tell you what you should be tasting and smelling. I don’t know about you but I can’t say I enjoy Guinness that much. I am not much of a beer drinker, especially dark beers, but Guinness in small amounts can be good. I just can’t handle a whole pint of it, that is a lot of heavy liquid in your belly! Dave would very much disagree with me here, he LOVES Guinness and the first drink he has when he gets home is a pint of Guinness. He says it tastes the best in Ireland and after learning all about it I can now understand why. So he was happy to have numerous pints of Guinness when he got back, especially on his stag do he went to.
For my pint at the top I opted for some blackcurrant to be put inside to sweeten it up a bit and it really made it quite tasty! So if you’re unsure of Guinness ask the bartender to put a little blackcurrant in and you will be pleasantly surprised! After we had our pints and looked out at the view of beautiful Dublin we decided to walk back to the train rather then take the bus because the rain had stopped. Plus we needed a little fresh air after those pints (well I did, not Dave.) We both were feeling quite peckish so we stopped at our favourite cafe, Avoca, and had the most delicious salad with a side of sourdough. It was lightly steamed kale, baked yams, baba ganoush, pickled red onions, hazelnuts and grilled halloumi. Probably the best salad I have ever eaten and we have since recreated it at home numerous times.