The home of the “black stuff” has always been a spot that I’ve meant to wander into and so on a whim with the rain drizzling down, Mr. POH and I headed to the iconic Guinness Storehouse.
Open seven days a week from 9.30am, we arrived late enough into the afternoon to a bustling entrance that was jam-packed with nattering people.
Forking out €18 each for adult tickets (because we didn’t book online and thus didn’t save 10%), we were told that our experience would include a self-guided tour and a free pint of Guinness.
We kickstarted our experience in the Atrium by standing at the bottom “of the world’s largest pint glass” and gazing up through its seven storeys.
Excited by the prospect of losing myself for a few hours, we weaved our way through the ingredients and the craft brewing, cooperage and transportation, advertising and sponsorship, before we ended up in the Gravity Bar on the top floor.
Now I don’t want to spoil the experience for those who are absolutely determined to head here, so I’ll be brief.
There were elements that I liked about the Storehouse and there were things that I didn’t. I really enjoyed watching the cooperage videos, learning about the ingredients and the fact that you’re able to take away Guinness recipes – but does it need all of its floors? Not really.
There were areas that I felt were just set in place and used as a crowd filtering device. While the building may seem impressive when you open your tour map; there’s actually just a lot of weaving, which is fine in the beginning when you have a lot to distract you but then everything begins to filter out.
I was also pretty surprised about the lack of staff that were available on each floor. It seemed that the tour was completely dependent on what was on the walls or in the videos rather than any hunman interaction (apart from the tasting experience and Guinness Academy).
My partner also pointed out that some of the descriptions about brewing would make more sense to those who actual knew about beer rather than someone, like me, who was more of a novice.
There was a personal touch that was missing that you get on other tours, where you can ask questions and feel more involved.
I’m not saying that I didn’t completely enjoy it, but when the most memorable thing about the Guinness Storehouse is actually the breath-taking 360 degree view on the top floor and not the drink itself, then something’s not right.
For the price of it, I don’t feel like I would go back again but also because I feel like if you’re really soaking it all in properly, you won’t need to.
The nitty gritty:
Pricing: Adult save 10% when booking online (€16.20), otherwise €18 on the door. Student over 18 €14.50, Family €42.50, Student under 18 €12.00, Senior Citizen €14.50, Children €6.50
At the moment the Storehouse has an offer for early bird adult tickets at €14.40 which ends on August 31st, 2015.
I don’t think it’s really something to bring the kids to because they’ll miss out on key elements like tasting. It’s one of those things that for me you’d head to once but then it’s done.
The venue is open 7 days a week from 9.30am – 5pm (last admission is at 5pm) with a late opening during July and August until 7pm (last admission is at 7pm).
The Storehouse is open all year apart from Good Friday, Christmas Eve Dec 24th, Christmas Day Dec 25th, and St Stephens Day. More details can be found on its website here.
For something a bit more interactive and that would suit the kids, see my review of the Smithwick’s Experience here.
(Lead image via Guinness Storehouse on Facebook)