On our last day in Dublin I got my way and was allowed to go to the Guinness Storehouse – basically this is the Guinness visitor centre and a Mecca for the lover of Guinness. The centre is in the heart of the brewery on the south side of the city, and comprises a multi level experience the very top of which is a 360 degree bar with amazing views across the city – it is a great conversion and re-use of an old industrial building.
Now as a lover of the black stuff I was always going to be impressed by the experience – and to be honest it is well presented. The whole concept is clever – you pass up through a tower which is shaped like a beer glass, the explanation of how Guinness is made, what makes it special, and its history is told as well as any visitor centre the world over. And finishing up with a ‘free pint’ is always going to attract people!
There is also a large retail area on the ground floor (no surprise there!).
As a bloke I was easily impressed (free beer – need I say more?), however my wifes comments were quite telling. As you pass up the building the areas become more about the marketing and uses of Guinness. Areas which are probably of less interest to the males on the tour – but actually interested my wife – they included a section related to cooking with Guinness. But, it was unmanned (they do demos) and the recipe cards were in short supply or had run out – a small point but to a company as large as Guinness pretty shoddy.
Also there were interactive screens and information points which weren’t working – this was commented on by my son – he is too young to drink, but would have shown an interest if the units were working.
So a potentially great visitor attraction which appears to be slightly unloved – a shame as it should be a real showpiece for Dublin. And the Guinness? Yes, it does taste better in Ireland!