The Guinness Storehouse is the #1 most popular visitor experience for both leisure travelers and meeting participants gathering in Dublin. The Guinness beer and brand have almost mythical status in Ireland as the world’s best selling stout ale, and you’ll feel that pride the entire time you’re here exploring this massive venue, previously used as a fermentation house from 1759 to 1988.
The first three lower floors are a museum with galleries chronicling the history of the industrial building, the care and ingredients that go into making the beer, and a walk-through past the huge machines that go into producing the beer. While the methods might be centuries old, the presentation is state of the art combining both historic artifacts and high-tech computer-generated imagery.
By the time you arrive at the Taste Experience, everyone is ready to try out one of the healthiest, most naturally produced beers in the world. It’s a great way to break up the tour because there’s a lot to see here.
The Guinness Advertising exhibit on the 2nd floor is fascinating for brand dev/marketing executives with many historic print and TV ads showing the evolution of a humble drink into an iconic global powerhouse. Also on this floor, the Arrol Room hosts 300 pax for dinner with full A/V and drop down screens.
It’s here where you start to appreciate the incredible architecture of the old brewhouse. The central open atrium running vertically through the entire building is crisscrossed with giant turquoise-painted steel beams, surrounded by bare brick walls, exposed ductwork and towering windows. Planners can book buyouts for up to 2,000 people.
Continuing upward, the third floor focuses on the Guinness company’s legacy of corporate social responsibility around the globe from its inception. You can learn about all of the past employees who’ve ever been associated with the company, and their history, as well as the many projects the company has financed from Kenya to Khartoum. Also on this floor, there’s a cool exhibit showing many of the music and sporting events the beer company has sponsored over the decades.
One of the most popular teambuilding events in Dublin, The Guinness Academy is a large bar on the fourth floor with draft beer taps where you can learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. It’s not easy and takes time and precision, and everyone in our group of 20 took a turn. Due to the time it takes to pour a pint, it’s best if you have something else for attendees to do at the same time.
The fifth floor is dedicated to food and beverage with five unique restaurants catering up to 500 pax for one sit-down dinner. It’s great for networking since everyone can move from one outlet to another, ranging from a traditional Irish pub atmosphere to fine dining.
The Guinness Storehouse experience ends at the dramatic penthouse Gravity Bar (above) with floor to ceiling glass walls surrounding the complete space. It’s one big bar with the best views of central Dublin in the city, and even if you don’t meet here, recommend it for any beer lovers to come and explore during their free time. Planners can buy it out for group events after 7:30 pm for 84-pax dinners; 150-pax buffets.
Top photo: Flickr