Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Day 4 – Exploring Dublin Continues! Beer First!

Our Irish Holiday: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12 

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Our day started with the loud blare of the 6:00 am alarm. We sprang out of bed and quickly prepared ourselves for the day’s exciting adventure!

We showered, put on our cleanest dirty clothes, and went to have breakfast at our hotel.

The breakfast options were great. I had dry toast, and Mary had a little of everything.

To catch the bus at bus stop #6, we had to be at the bus stop by 9:18 am. Despite the heavy drizzle, everyone seemed to ignore it as we walked.

As I age, I remember all the people I lost along the way, and I wonder if a career as a tour guide was the right choice.

If everything goes according to plan, we should arrive at Guinness about 30 minutes before our scheduled time.

The light rain/heavy drizzle was good because it allowed us to cool off from our speed walking activity.   We walked to stop #6 again, this time without a map.  Eight stops later, the bus dropped us off at Guinness.

Hello Guinness!

It was lightly misting, so we hurried inside upon our arrival. I looked drenched, so they let us in early. Plus, it was time for a beer!

The black stuff, Irish champagne, ebony nectar, black custard, and a pint of plain are all nicknames for this much-loved Irish institution.  There’s no doubt that Guinness is one of the most famous beers in the world.

We are ready to go inside.

Guinness converted its huge building into an area that told the whole story of Guinness, complete with merchandise on the first floor, three floors of how they make beer, two floors for food and drink, and viewing the city on the seventh floor.  It is called The Guinness Storehouse.

The Guinness Storehouse was built in 1904 as a St. James’ Gate Brewery fermentation plant.  It was closed in 1988, and a decade later, in 2000, it was transformed into a seven-floor storehouse open to the general public.

There were seven floors to explore.

How did Guinness get a 9,000-year lease? The owner of St. James’s Gate Brewery asked for £100 as a deposit and £ 45 rent per month. On December 31, 1759, Arthur Guinness succeeded in getting the owner to sign a lease for a maximum of 9,000 years. Under these conditions, Guinness beer is still brewed at St. James Gate, and the company pays loyalty every month £ 45!

Did I say the building was built well?  Look at all that steel initially used to support the enormous copper vats containing the beer.

The building is old but built well.

The barley display had amazing three-D effects and a sky that changed from summertime to winter as we stood there.  It emphasized the relationship with the local farmers over the centuries.

Did You Know?  Barley (Hordeum vulgare), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally.  It was one of the first cultivated grains, domesticated in the Fertile Crescent around 9000 BC, giving it nonshattering spikelets and making it much easier to harvest.  Its use then spread throughout Eurasia by 2000 BC.  Barley prefers relatively low temperatures and well-drained soil to grow.  It is relatively tolerant of drought and soil salinity but is less winter-hardy than wheat or rye.

In 2022, barley was fourth among grains in quantity produced, 155 million tonnes, behind maize, wheat, and rice.  Globally, 70% of barley production is used as animal feed.  In comparison, 30% is used as a source of fermentable material for beer, or further distilled into whisky, and as a component of various foods.

Everything is grown fresh in Ireland for Guinness beers.

Beer is 92% water, so the quality of the water is essential.  The display was fantastic, with the water being controlled to show beer bottles and signage.

Even the water comes from the local mountains.

The manufacturing has to be precise to ensure consistency in the beer.  Guinness has it down to a science these days!

We enjoyed several tastes as we progressed through the displays.  In dog beers, I’ve only had one.

Roasting the ingredients is a trick.  That is 449.6 degrees Fahrenheit!

There were AV displays everywhere, and we looked at old pictures of how it was made one hundred years ago.  It was backbreaking work, from bringing the ingredients to making the barrels.  Guinness was ahead of his time as he provided housing for his workers, complete with hot and cold running water.

Their AV displays are fabulous.

They had been advertising for 100+ years, so part of the tour included a visit to all the campaigns that had taken place during that time.

Remember, “Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.”

They have old advertising displays available to view.

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle – a campaign from 70 years ago!

Enough said.

At the end of the tour, we climbed two more stories.  Above us were several restaurants, and finally, on the top floor, was a 360-degree enclosed observation deck.  Perched atop the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, the Gravity Bar is an iconic spot that offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city while you savor a pint of the world-renowned Guinness stout.

View from seven floors up.

Without question, beer is the greatest invention in mankind’s history.  Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.

We dined on the 6th floor and had Irish stew and a glass of the brew!  But I digress.

It’s the best stew we have had so far, probably because it was made with Guinness!

After a power nap, we took a taxi to the Westbury Hotel’s dining room called Wilde for a delightful dinner.

To the Westbury Hotel for drinks and dinner.

The ambiance and service were superb.  We sat on the enclosed patio surrounded by greenery.  It was a fantastic meal with attentive, friendly staff.

It was named after Oscar Wilde!

We shared a bottle of excellent champagne!

She is about to get a surprise.

While dining, we met a couple from San Francisco. Doing what I do, I ordered a “surprise” from the bartender, and it was excellent. Then I ordered two more: one for me and one for the next table over. The bartender did not have a name for the drink, so after some discussions, we called him over and told him the name!

It was named “Gender Reveal.”

Why, you ask?  Well, it looked like a female drink because of the color.  It tasted like a male drink because of the spicy, smokey taste!

We had a delicious meal, and to top it off, we shared a baked Alaska.

REAL baked Alaska.

The waiter sang Happy Birthday to M’Lady, which she had NOT expected.

We celebrated Mary’s birthday early.

After such a meal, we wanted to walk.  Since returning to our hotel by foot was out of the question, we ambled up and down the shopping area, enjoying the sights.

We strolled the shopping district for 30 minutes after dinner.

We hopped on an electric taxi.  The driver loved the car, and it was a quiet ride.

We did NOT drive in the city.

Our hotel features live music from 9:00 pm until late.  The musician played several danceable songs, and we enjoyed them.  Yes, we had another small drink before heading to the elevator.

It was a good time.  It was only a 15-minute walk to get there, but the walk home took 45 minutes; the difference was staggering.

We returned to our hotel and danced until 11:30 pm.

With help from my doctor, we made it to the fourth floor, where we crashed.  We are driving to Mount Juliet tomorrow, where we will stay for a week before returning home.

BTW we were the only folks dancing, and we got a standing ovation!

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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