Ireland’s pure genius

Photograph by Vicki Clements.

Tired but not out after two nights in Dublin. Photograph by Vicki Clements.

Awaking after a night out involving too much booze, it was obvious what Big Al and I had to do: go and visit the Guinness Storehouse.

From 1904 to 1988 the building was a fermentation plant but now is a seven story visitor centre dedicated to the history and making of this world famous beer.

On the ground floor is a copy of the famous lease that Arthur Guinness signed on 31 December 1759, leading to the legend that’s based on four natural ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water.

Up on the first floor we practised how to properly taste a Guinness: fully exhale, drink and hold in your mouth, swallow, inhale deeply (leading to intriguing tingles in various parts of the mouth).

Guinness advertising dominates the second floor. The first official Guinness advert appeared in February 1929 with the slogan “Guinness is good for you” (when my mother was pregnant with me, nurses advised her to drink Guinness). The “Surfer” advert was voted the greatest TV ad ever.

We made short work of the other floors on our way to the seventh floor and its Gravity Bar, which provided a 360-degree view out across Dublin and its landmarks as we sank our complimentary pints of Guinness.

Here’s to you Ahab…and the fat drummer hit the beat with all his heart.