This is high on the list of Dublin attractions, so it is a stop on the standard sightseeing bus, too, but I decided to walk the relatively modest distance from my hotel close to Trinity College. The streets of Temple Bar are filled with lorries delivering beer barrels, and the main street across the Liffey is an endless cue of Guinness tank cars, presumably on their way to the ferry for England.
As I get closer to the brewery, I can safely put the map in my pocket and navigate by smell alone. I have always loved the malty smell of a brewery, and here it is good evidence that it is not just a facade and tourist attraction like the Jameson distillery.
The Storehouse is simply a building in the middle of the brewery complex in the shape of a gigantic pint. You enter through a crowded hallway with a large souvenir shop, you pay your 12 Euro ticket, get a map and get started on your self-guided tour. I have to admit I was impressed. You start with the raw materials, including an indoor waterfall, loads of malt that you can taste and vines filled with hops. Everything i big scale, so you get a real wow factor. The brick and steel of the building reminds you that this is real industrial heritage. Then you walk upstairs, passing original brewing equipment, interactive displays, a tasting lab etc. The information on the brewing process is not giving any new revelations for a beer geek, but it is all very well executed.
On the higher floors you get to learn about the distribution of Guinness, you have a splendid display of bottles and breweriana and there is a large section devoted to the advertising. You can even watch vintage TV commercials - great fun. When your feet are starting to ache, a glass elevator whisks you through the remaining floors to the head of the pint, the observatory bar at the top. On a day of sunshine you have a great view of Dublin - and a pint of the black stuff is included in your ticket. At times like this, it is really refreshing.
On my way out I just picked up a few versions of their bottled beer, but the range of souvenirs for sale means you could buy full sets of clothes and go far in furnishing your house with Guinness bric-a-brac. The verdict? Definitely worth a few hours, even if you have no emotional ties with Guinness.