BrewChief Does Ireland
An Outing in Dublin, Ireland
Posted on 5/7/2014 by Chops
Dublin, Ireland can easily be described as a beer geek Disneyland. The city is littered with authentic Irish pubs, some of which also double as hotels. Many are located in the famed Temple Bar district, Dublin's lively cultural quarter. The city is also the home of the world famous Guinness Storehouse, a must-see for any beer fan. With so much to see and do, BrewChief packed a hell of a lot of beery goodness into a brief few days.

Guinness Storehouse (Click Here)

If you can do one and only one thing in Dublin, visiting the Guinness Storehouse should be that one thing. This is seven stories of beer-battered awesomeness packed full of history, tasting rooms, restaurants, shops, tours, presentations, artwork, and even a seventh story Gravity Bar with 360-degree panoramic views of the city. You can easily spend an entire day at the place, which is exactly what BrewChief did.

As a brief history, the Guinness Storehouse is the location of the old St. James's Gate Brewery fermentation plant, which ran continuously from 1902 to 1988. Arthur Guinness leased the plant on December 31, 1759 and used it to brew his famous nectar. He managed to secure leasing terms of 9,000 years at £45 per year. You can of course learn all about it throughout the seven floors of the Guinness Storehouse, the interior of which is shaped like a giant pint glass.

The highlight of the visit by far was the Connoisseur Experience, where a small group of beer fans are whisked away to a hidden bar on the premises. It's here where you get to sample and discuss several other Guinness products, including their black lager and foreign extra stout, with the company of your own private bar tender. You get to learn more about the company while enjoying a quiet and relaxed atmosphere all to yourself. My group consisted of seven Swedish beer fans and myself. It was a lot of fun getting to discuss all things Guinness, and with full reign of the private bar, we all enjoyed practicing our perfect pint pours.

So yes, if you're a beer fan in Dublin, make it a point to visit the Guinness Storehouse. It's well worth the time you'll spend there, which is a lot. And if you can, opt for the Connoisseur Experience. You won't be disappointed.

The Temple Bar (Click Here)

Dublin's famous cultural district is well known for it's lively pubs and nightlife. The area preserved much of its medieval architecture down to its narrow cobble stone streets. BrewChief explored many of the popular pubs there, including The Temple Bar Pub and Oliver St. John Gogarty's. It's a fun area to wander in the early evening, plus there are several late-night restaurants available for when you need to balance out the beer intake.

The Porterhouse Brewing Company (Click Here)

Located smack dab in the middle of the Temple Bar district is the The Porterhouse Brewing Company, one of Dublin's multiple craft beer establishments. It was founded in 1989 and has been brewing tasty Irish beer ever since. They are quite popular in the area and offer an array of tasty red ales and stouts. The multi-story pub gets packed in the evenings, so I found it best to explore during the day when I could quietly sample their many tasty brews. The brewery is famous for their Plain Porter, a gold medal winner at the Brewing Industry International Awards, named the best stout in the world in 1998 and 2011.

J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery (Click Here)

Another one of Dublin's craft beer establishments, located right on the River Liffey in the center of the city. J.W. Sweetman is another popular location for beer geeks due to its scenic location, gorgeous interior, and of course, its tasty selection of Irish craft beers. And I'm here to tell you, there are few better experiences to have in Ireland as a beer fan than to sip on an authentic Irish Red Ale in Dublin while sitting at a window overlooking the Liffey. Simply magical.

The Brazen Head (Click Here)

Ireland's oldest pub. I visited this rustic jewel on my way back from the Guinness Storehouse, accompanied by seven of my new Swedish friends. The origins of the pub can be traced back to a coach house established in 1198. It's a popular establishment for both historic, culinary, and musical reasons. I enjoyed perhaps the best bowl of Irish stew I have ever tasted there, complete with a frosty pint of Guinness.

O'Shea's Merchant Pub & Hotel (Click Here)

It's one thing to experience an authentic Irish pub. It's an entirely different thing to actually sleep there too (without passing out at the bar of course). My accommodations of choice was the O'Shea's Merchant, a pub-hotel combo located right next door to the Temple Bar district and right across the street from the The Brazen Head. They feature a full restaurant full of Irish-themed delights as well as live Irish music every night. Did I mention it was also a short walk from the Guinness Storehouse? It was like a hub for all things awesome.

I packed a plethora into a few short days in Dublin, and it ended up being one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a beer fan. I cannot recommend this experience enough for beer geeks. Your pint glass will overfloweth with countless fun and engaging activities. My only regret is that I didn't book a few more days. Dublin is definitely a place that I will be returning to, hopefully in the near future. Cheers!

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