Guinness For Strength

20 Nov

A week ago my aunt Rita and uncle Myron came to visit and explore Ireland, while they were here they went and saw Galway, Belfast, Cork, and finished their last few days in Dublin. Other then the obvious fact that it was nice to see some of my family after so long away from home it was also great to be reminded what a beautiful, fun city Dublin is. Living here everyday its easy to get used to the people, the restaurants, and even the city as a whole but when my aunt and uncle came they forced me to look at Dublin with the same wonder as I did getting off the plain those few months ago. While they were here I took them to some of my favorite hotspots including Accents coffee shop, BBQ project, Camden Rotisserie, and The Hairy Lemon for some traditional Irish food. However the best part of the weekend for me was driving out to the Guinness factory and learning not just about beer but how the culture and people of Ireland have shaped what Guinness is today.

 First off I would just like to say this is by far the coolest factory tour I’ve been on and loved how you were able to explore at your own pace rather then simply following a guide. The experience takes place in an old section of the factory that is still filled with the aroma of thousands of gallons of beer being brewed. I particularly liked how some of the old, rustic looking pipes were left weaving their way through the storehouse, along with other seemingly ancient reminders that this was a functioning factory. Some of the highlights from the tour were learning about Arthur, and the importance that water plays when brewing Guinness. Arthur had over 10 children, and was one of the first people to pay his workers while they were on vacation rather then simply when they punched in and out. This was a great step towards fair treatment of laborers and shows the importance ideals, as well as how he felt about his Irish comrades working toward a greater goal, the perfect beer. The next point of the tour that I found very memorable was the importance placed on water. Inside the storehouse there is a 30 ft waterfall with a speaker that talked about how this particular position in Dublin was chosen because of the ready availability of clean water, however the water used for Guinness has never and never will be taken from the Liffey River. Having drank Guinness a few times since I’ve been here in Ireland I’m personally very relieved that the water doesn’t come from the Liffey.

 The last stop at the tour was the rooftop bar where we enjoyed a pint of Guinness while looking out on beautiful Dublin. Amazingly it was a sunny clear day and we were able to see out across Dublin for miles. Having only seen this city from the ground I was able to gain a new perspective on the place I’ve been calling home and can truly understand now why they call it a group of villages. Rita and Myron left the next day but I’m sure they look back on their trip to Ireland and think of the Guinness factory as the perfect end to their trip summarizing a small portion of what it means to be Irish and the city that leads this great place. 

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