Friday, October 8, 2010

Guinness Brewery

So, today I met Kim and Brent at the H'Penny Bridge.  We walked down the River Liffey to the James Joyce Bridge, then went up to the Guinness Storehouse for a tour.  At first, I was disappointed to find out that it was not a guided tour.  However, the signs, videos, and audio along the way made it really informative without you feeling stuck in one spot longer than you wanted to be.  It was an amazing experience with lots and lots of pictures taken.

First, we learned what Guinness is made of (barley, hops, yeast, and water), with lots of information and even tactile exhibits of some of the ingredients.  Then, we learned how Guinness is made.  The barley gets it the worst, being roasted, milled, and mashed.  After the tutorial, we got little samples of Guinness and then it was up up up to look through various Guinness displays of paraphernalia- old bottles, advertisements, labels, and even an old harp that has been adopted as an official Guinness symbol.  From there, it was up up up again to the Gravity Bar at the very top of the storehouse.  Here, we got to cash in our tickets for a complementary Guinness and there were spectacular views.  We all agreed that it would have been worth the ticket just to go to the Gravity Bar.
Gravity Bar

After the brewery, we made our way back toward the river, finding a great restaurant in the Temple Bar area called the Porterhouse.  They had delicious food and brewed their own beer.  I really enjoyed my shepard's pie and chips, and they very obligingly brought Brent nearly a trough's worth of ketchup on request.  We picked a good time to get dinner because soon the restaurant filled with people there to watch the Ireland-Russia soccer (er, football) game.  Sadly, we only stayed long enough to see Russia score two goals.  Not quite the experience we had hoped for.

Post-dinner it was time for me to make my way back to the train.  We made plans for a literary pub crawl tomorrow- can't get too much better than books and brew in my opinion.  On the train ride home, I had a lovely ego boost.  After an Irish man, who obviously didn't speak a lick of Spanish, pointed out Aviva stadium to a large family of very loud women from Spain, they rattled off copious questions to him in very fast Spanish.  He got off the train and I explained to them that it was the Irish-Russian futbol game.  Sadly, I couldn't tell them if it was a World Cup game or not, not for lack of vocabulary, but I just didn't know.  They asked about my Spanish and I said it had been MANY years since I studied it, but they said it was very good and even offered for me to sit with them and practice.  I would have loved to, but my stop was next, so I said gracias and adios.  A good end to a great day!

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