Guinness: Ireland's favorite brewery

Photo by Anton Ivanov
Photo by Anton Ivanov

Guinness: Ireland's favorite brewery

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

I don’t think one can argue Guinness is hands down the world’s most famous beer. Thanks to decades of brilliant marketing campaigns, it’s certainly the most recognizable. Brewed in 50 countries and available in 120, you cannot escape the pull of Ireland’s dark and dry stout.

The beer is named after its creator, Arthur Guinness, but what many may not realize is that Guinness was not his first venture. He initially started brewing ale in Leixlip, Ireland. In 1759, Guinness moved to Dublin and somehow negotiated a 9,000-year lease with an annual rent of 45 pounds a year. Perhaps, Arthur should have written his own “The Art of the Deal.” Guinness brewed several types of beer, including his now famous porter. When the beer took off in Ireland and England, Guinness suspended all ale brewing and focused on his creamy black concoction. Guinness would make its first appearance across the pond in 1817 when eight barrels were shipped to South Carolina.

Guinness' famous marketing campaign | Photo by Nikolay Stoimenov 


Guinness would go on to spawn scientific laboratories, spin-off beers and award-winning marketing campaigns. My personal favorite is the, “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” campaign because it’s true. In 2015, Guinness jumped on the craft beer bandwagon and released its nitro IPA even though IPAs are garbage beers. You can fight me on that.

Two very cheeky birds, Frick & Frack | Photo by Amanda Palumbo

The Guinness Storehouse and Brewery is absolutely a tourist trap but it’s something you just have to do in Dublin. It would be like going to Paris and not walking by the Eiffel Tower. The tour is expansive, interactive and very well done. If you prebook on the store’s website, the ticket is 18.50 euros versus walking in and paying 25 euros. The tour ends with a free pint of Guinness and a 360-degree skyline view of Dublin from the building’s Gravity Bar. Before you get to the top floor, I would suggest stopping by the 1837 Bar and Brasserie to have a drink. It’s far less crowded than the Gravity Bar and if you’re like me you need a drink before you go stand with 200 people crammed in a glass box. Plus, 1837 is home to two very cheeky Herring Gulls who put on quite a show to tempt you to throw food out the window. I named them Frick and Frack.

The Celt's Irish lamb stew | Photo by Amanda Palumbo

After the Guinness Brewery, you might be tempted to head to Temple Bar and that’s okay. Just walk by and take your picture in front of the sign. Do not go in. It’s a mess of people, you will pay twice as much for a beer and wait three times as long. If you want a truly traditional Irish experience, head to the bar and restaurant the locals go to, The Celt over on Talbot street. Every night there is live Irish music, reasonably priced drinks and some of the best food in Dublin.

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