During our visit to Northern Ireland we couldn’t leave without heading over the border for a whistle stop tour of Dublin, as it is only a couple of hours drive from Belfast.
Hubby is a Guinness drinker, so visiting the Guinness Storehouse was the first thing on our list to do, plus kids under 13 go FREE, which is always a bonus.
If you are travelling by car, there is also complimentary parking for Storehouse visitors on Crane Street.
Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin and so confident of his product was he that he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery, which is on display at the start of the self-guided tour.
The tour is set over seven floors in a converted grain storehouse that is part of the 26-hectare brewery.
On the ground floor you start with the Brewing Story, finding out exactly what it takes to make the worlds most iconic stout, from the grain they use, to their special yeast, giant hops and even their tools.
They even have their own indoor waterfall.
The tour flows in one direction and each floor is accessed either by escalator or lift, so is perfectly accessible to all.
I was worried that the kids might get bored, however, the tour is very interactive, with lots for them to see and do especially during the brewing process.
The museum then moves on to the people behind the product, from how the beer is transported in barrels made by expert coopers to how the beer gets around the world.
We were most impressed by a giant 12ft wooden sculpture in the middle of the museum.
Next up is the tasting experience, which starts in a white room a bar at one end. There are four podiums, each which emits a different smell of the elements that you will find in a pint of Guinness.
The bar attendant then talks you through the sights and smells – did you know Guinness is actually red and not black?
You are then given your sample, in the cutest miniature Guinness glasses, before heading into a plush lounge area to enjoy your sample.
Sampling is strictly for over 18’s, but we did get Isaac to pose with the glass, just to show how small it actually was.
It was then up to the next level for the kids favourite part of the tour – Guinness Advertising.
There is over eighty years of groundbreaking print, digital and TV campaigns in the Guinness® World of Advertising.
You can immerse yourself in their history of advertising, interact with the ads, spot the whistling oyster and take a memorable snaps in fun booths depicting Guinness advertising.
On the next floor is the Guinness Academy where you learn to pour the perfect pint – did you know it takes 119.5 seconds!!
You can even make your own instagrammable pint – the #STOUTie, where they use a special machine to paint your picture on the top of a pint of Guinness.
The final part of the tour is the Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness whilst looking over the beautiful city of Dublin. The kids were also given a free soft drink to enjoy.
There is also a choice of four lovely restaurants, serving traditional Irish food and snacks to choose from and a gift shop full to bursting with Guinness themed products.
Tickets to the Guinness Storehouse cost from €18.50 per person online, in advance and kids under 13 are FREE. The prices vary during the day with the cheapest tickets being at 9.30am.