Drink Guinness In Ireland Because It Tastes Better Where It’s Brewed

Of course this is on the Beer Bucket List. It’s a top-10 entry— or at least drinking in Dublin is essential and, if you’re in Dublin, then you’re going to drink at least one pint of Guinness.

Start at the Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate, in the heart of the brewery, which is Ireland’s most-visited tourist destination. There’s a self-guided tour, which takes you up seven storys of the world’s largest pint—the building is shaped like a beer glass. The tour itself is fine: some beer Disney, some old ads, a gift store; you’ll learn some of the history, a bit about the brewing process, stuff like that. But it’s the final destination that makes the tour worthwhile—the Gravity Bar at the top of the glass building, where you get a 360-degree view of Dublin and a fresh pint of Guinness.

Drink Guinness In Ireland Because It Tastes Better Where It’s Brewed Photo Gallery

While the view from the Gravity Bar is unsurpassed, and the beer is very good, the experience is soulless compared with the famous fun of a classic Irish pub, so descend, head back into town, and look for a few pubs where you’ll get the proper Guinness experience.

The thing to know about Guinness is that it does taste better in Ireland than anywhere else. I thought this was nonsense until I went to Dublin and drank the beer fresh. And that’s the keyword: fresh. Guinness is a surprisingly delicate beer. Drink it in Ireland and it reveals unexpected fruity ester aromas, a lightness where most people think it’s heavy, and a smooth, gentle, roasty bitterness. When it’s not fresh, it can be fairly tasteless and bland, so the important thing is to find a pub that serves a lot of beer and serves it well.

Mulligan’s (8 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2; www.mulligans.ie) is a time capsule of Dublin’s past, a dark pub built from old wood; it’s intangibly wonderful to simply sit there with a beer or two and watch the world slowly pass by. The Long Hall (51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2) is a beauty of an old Victorian pub—like drinking in an antique shop. The Brazen Head (20 Lower Bridge Street, Dublin 8; www.brazenhead.com) is Ireland’s oldest pub (dating from 1198), which is worth visiting for that alone, but you’ll stay for the beer and then the live music in the evening for that quintessential Dublin pub experience.

The Lowdown

WHAT: Guinness Storehouse

HOW: www. guinness-storehouse. com WHERE: St James’s Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8

Just the four taps of Guinness then.

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