Dublin is a neat city. It’s got all the wonderful old buildings and statues that you’d expect, but there’s nothing pretentious about it. Dublin’s not putting on airs. It’s not too fancy, and I like that. IT’S GOT LOTS OF PUBS–AND I LIKE THAT.
So after Matt and I emerged from our Botanic Garden trance, we set out to explore the city. First and foremost, we learned which bus lines run from our neighborhood to the downtown area. It’s a two mile trek otherwise, and it was nice to let the bus do a little bit of the work. I noticed pretty quickly that there are lots of places named after people I know. I got so excited every time because it was like seeing a friend. You know who you are.
Though we were content to meander, we did have one destination set in stone for the day: The Guinness Storehouse. It’s the one thing you HAVE to do if you go to Dublin. They actually make you sign a “promise to visit” form when you get off the plane. If you refuse, they put you right back on the plane and ship you home. True story. So we walked in the general direction of the Storehouse, seeing some cool buildings and things along the way.
We also walked by/around Dublin Castle, but neither of us wanted to go in. We saw Windsor and that was pretty cool and I dunno, once you’ve been inside one castle, haven’t you been inside them all?
Eventually, the tourist crowds started growing thicker and we knew we were approaching THE MECCA.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Guinness. I think it’s alright, but I’m not sure I’ve ever even ordered one at a bar. I don’t, like, seek it out. But I know there are people (men) who live and die by this beer, and the best part of the tour was seeing all of the reverent, bearded dudes, taking in their place of worship.
Matt was not one of them, nor was I, but we’re both glad we did the tour. The Storehouse is actually really cool. It was lengthier and more interesting than I had anticipated. It’s self-guided, which is a plus, and there are lots of short videos explaining things like THIS IS HOW HOPS ARE ROASTED and THIS IS WHY GUINNESS IS SO TASTY. Okay, some of it was kind of cheesy. But we also watched a video of a dude making a beer cask and it was cool AF. Just making a barrel, by hand. The whole inside was beautiful. AND THERE WAS A WATER FALL.
The safe is where they kept the yeast for the beer. I guess they’ve used the same strain for a really long time, so that’s cool. I have no idea what the fish thing has to do with Guinness, but I liked it (obviously).
Throughout the tour, there were several creepy hints that Guinness “contains” something of Arthur Guinness–you know, the guy who invented Guinness. The informational videos kept mentioning the “special essence” of Guinness though they never really explained what that meant, and they even went so far as to say “Every pint of Guinness contains some of Arthur Guinness himself.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? IS THIS LITERAL OR METAPHORIC? LITERAL OR METAPHORIC?
But when the time came, I drank it happily. First in the tasting room where they “teach” you how to enjoy a glass of Guinness. (YOU JUST FUCKING DRINK IT)
Then a WHOLE PINT. Of course, they don’t just give you the pint. First you have to go through a very lame “tutorial” about how to pour a perfect Guinness. It take two minutes to pour a perfect Guinness. MULTIPLY THAT BY THE TEN PEOPLE IN OUR GROUP PLUS THE GUIDE YAMMERING ON AND THAT’S HOW LONG I HAD TO WAIT FOR A BEER. I’ve gotten faster service at a Hooters.
I can appreciate all the Guinness worship and all, but I just wanted a beer. They even printed “certificates” for completing the “training course” and I was like, fuck that noise. Don’t give me any more purse clutter. All I want in my purse is money, a phone, 15 lipsticks, and a snack for later. AND THAT’S IT.
I did pour a pretty good pint though. #I’maNatural
I will say this: GOD DAMN THAT GUINNESS TASTED GOOD. I was all about it. I’m not sure it’s the same stuff at we have at home. It was so creamy and smooth. It was like having dessert. AND YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT DESSERT. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a beer as much as I loved Guinness in Dublin. (Save only the sours at the Cascade Barrel House in Portland.)
Matt and I walked our beers up to the sky bar at the top of the Storehouse. It’s got a 360 view of Dublin, and every single tourist in town. We didn’t stay long.
I can’t for the life of me remember what we did after that. Or what we had for dinner. I guess that Guinness was all I needed that day.