On Friday morning, we made our way back to Dublin. Our first stop was the Guinness Storehouse where we had a guided tour. The building is in the shape of a giant pint glass – one that would hold over 14 million pints if it were a real glass! In the floor of the lobby under a panel of glass is the 9,000 year lease that Arthur Guinness signed for the land where the brewery is located. The rate was 45 pounds a year, although the brewery eventually purchased the land, so the lease is no longer valid.
Our guide told us about the brewing process and cooperage, the old method of cask making. We then saw exhibits on Guinness’ advertising history. One interesting thing I learned was that Guinness trademarked the harp as its logo. When the Irish government later wanted to use the harp as its symbol, they ran into issues due to the Guinness trademark. The Irish government got around this by flipping the image of the harp around so that the straight side of the harp is on the right. The Guinness harp image has the straight side on the left.
We then proceeded to the Gravity Bar, located on the top floor to have a pint of Guinness which was included with our admission. Our guide told us that gravity is a term used by brewmasters to describe the beer’s density relative to that of water. He also told us about the proper six-step process to pouring Guinness. Part of this involves letting the beer settle and then topping it off to the perfect level so that the head is just above the top of the glass but there is no overspill. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I quite enjoyed my pint. It tasted better from the source compared to other Guinness that I’ve had in the past. The bar has an impressive 360-degree panoramic view of Dublin.