Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction with over 1.6million visitors in 2016. With Dublin full of wonderful things to do, I want to help you decide if it is worth your while.

My first impressions of Guinness storehouse was that it was an overly commercial venture with little cultural and educational value. Indeed, I have not changed my mind on that score but my view has been tempered somewhat by both my own experience visiting it and by chatting with others who have been there.

Now my view is that it is an incredible place. It is an ode to our modern culture of branding and commerce. It is living proof of the expression “nothing succeeds like success”. Commercial branding is, of course, a hall of mirrors and the Guinness storehouse is effectively that. It is a mirror to our society and culture. The brand is legendary because it is successful, successful because it is legendary. And the Guinness storehouse is opulent and translucent in its depiction of all this. Come and look at the legendary advertisements it tells us. Admire our marketing genius and sink a pint of the legendary black stuff after, it intones with a knowing wink and mischievous smile. Guinness is the magician who can’t resist telling you how it’s done and knows that you will love him for it anyway. Guinness knows that even though you have seen the magicians trick you will still be seduced by the magic. Every time. Because you want to be seduced. Especially when you are on holidays!

For all this chuzpuh, marketing brilliance and pychological double bluff Guinness deserves a visit. It does make a perfect foil for a morning spent exploring a museum or art gallery. The exhibits on advertising are excellent but the sections on brewing are pretty ordinary and standard for this kind of thing. There is also the opertunity to learn how to “pull a pint” which celebrates the art of creating “the perfect pint” from the tap and there is also the Gravity  bar on the top floor which has wonderful views across the city. It also has an excited and  almost skittish atmosphere that is as intoxicating as the brew itself. It is, of course, a bar full of hard working people on their holidays.

And really why not come here? It’s where everyone goes, isn’t it ?

Getting there:

Bus no. 13, , 40 from college green (outside Trinity), 123 from O Connell street or college green.

For a real luxury tourist experience you can share a jarvey (horse and cart) ride back to the city center after !

Cost.:

20Euro if you turn up (13.50Euro) for children. Over 18’s get a free pint.

Online discounts available in advance from as low as 14 Euro @ https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/tickets.

A Day In Dublin

I spent the day in Dublin today. It’s the weekend after St. Patrick’s day and a truly magical time to visit Dublin. It’s easy to be cynical about the green tinged buildings, the fairground fun and the open air food markets. But as one of Dublin’s favourite sons once said ” a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. (10 points for anyone who can place the quote) Dublin is the beating heart of Ireland and Ireland is never prouder then on St. Patricks day.

And the heartbeat is getting stronger and stronger. There is an easy air to the capital city these days. It is a city that has, for good and ill,  has long since resigned itself to the vagaries of capitalism and there is no changing that. Its open vulgar, commercialism is strangely joyful, productive and compatible with a good life of easy pleasures and cultural riches.

There is a treasure trove of museums here. The national museum, national library, natural history museum, national gallery and, of course our national parliament all sit within the one block adjacent to Trinity College (home of the Book of Kells and a monument in itself). There are also more quirky offerings at the National Wax Museum, the Little Museum of Dublin and the leprechaun museum while Kilmeinham  Jail, a personal favourite of mine, offers a highly imaginative exploration of times past with a special emphasis on the heroes of the 1916 rising. A must for history buffs.

All of these attractions deserve an article in themselves here and I will explore them in later posts…. til then please feel free to comment and tell me what you are interested in , slan agus beannacht, alan