In our time in Dublin we were able to go to three very different storehouses and learn more about their history and product. We first stopped at Guinness, Dublin’s pride and joy. Next we visited Jameson’s, the Irish whiskey that has flown all throughout the world. Finishing at Teeling, a new face in a competitive space but comes backed with years of experience. Each one of these places had different methods of showing their products off to tourists and convincing them to choose their brand over others. because of that I will be evaluating each storehouse.
Guinness is the Walt Disney World of breweries. When you enter their five story storehouse your senses are thrown into overload trying to process all that is going on. In one corner there is a gift shop the size of a cafe filled with souvenirs ranging from luggage tags to custom glasses. In another there is a restaurant that is serving bar food that is designed purposefully so Guinness can be the drink. Look over your shoulder there is a wooden wall with the logo blasted over this billboard size wall.
The tour begins with everyone going through the ingredient section. This where you learn about how everything is meticulously looked over for quality purposes. They have a huge wall covered in hops with a very strong scent. Leaving this area there is a waterfall showing the purity of the water that is poured into every pint. Head upstairs and you learn about how the ingredients get mixed together. The differences between malts and how copper basins are used to boil everything together.
Going up another flight you enter this humongous gallery of advertising from years past. They have all the zoo animals that you see on the posters. The famous fish on a bicycle pedaling away in front of a moving green screen. It feels like an art gallery for people who love to sit at the pub after work and enjoy a pint. Following this was the tasting section of the tour. In this room with certified professionals you learn how to drink and appreciate the flavors of the famous brew. I can not say I enjoyed the Guinness, but they are obviously doing something right.
Lastly, we all had the opportunity to pour are perfect pint.They hand you a glass and you stand behind the tap and pour it as it is shown. Keeping the glass at the 45 degree angle, letting it sit, and eventually topping it off with some nitrous. Although I hated the taste this had to be one of the best things I have ever seen on a brewery tour.
Jameson’s was not quite like Guinness. Entering Jameson’s was like walking into the middle of a party. There are people everywhere, standing, sitting, all enjoying the famous Irish whiskey. The reception area was basically two long bars with bartenders shaking cocktails left and right. The place did feel like it had more history than Guinness. They had light fixtures hanging from the ceiling made from old bottles. One wall was at least twenty feet high and featured bottles from the very beginning to present day. Next to that is this huge furnace where coal was shoveled into and boiled the whiskey in the distilling process.
When the tour actually began we were shown upstairs into this gallery like area. The walls were timelines all documenting the history of the distillery. You have the original founder to the great grandson who would eventually take over. Before you know it you are ushered into this room that looks like a war command center. Everyone standing in a circle looking down at this table. The table was used as a screen to show the decades of history. They talked about all of the disaster the distillery faced and how they still managed to stay relevant and survive in difficult times.
After the part about the history they bring you into this lounge feeling room that is in a circle. They seat everybody in front of different samples of whiskey. From here they teach you how to smeall and swoosh the whiskey to taste all the hard work put in. To emphasize the greatness of their whiskey, they place in front of you the competing American and Scottish whiskeys. It is impossible for me to tell as I don’t really enjoy alcohol but it seemed like they rigged it in their favor. They just seemed to glorify their whiskey so much, that you would have a hard time believing anything would or could be better.
My favorite place was the smallest and youngest of the three storehouses we visited. Teeling Distillery was established in 2015 by two brothers. Their family has strong roots in the distillery industry and they wanted to continue that legacy.
On their tour they take you into this room to have you watch a presentation. It is a ten minute video with the brothers explaining what inspired them, and what they are doing that makes them so special. Afterwards they show us onto the distillery floor. You are a floor high of these huge copper, wood, metal basins that are busy making whiskey to eventually be stored. After they show us around the floor they bring you into this fake storage area. This is only because it would be unsafe having that much alcohol near high temperatures. Combined together and they could destroy an entire building. In this storage area they go over all of things they are doing. They describe to use all the different combinations they are trying out for the maturation stage. The two brothers have been interested in seeing the difference of tastes in different barrels that have previously held rum, wine, tequila and more!
To finish up the tour they take you to the bar upstairs. You take a seat and they present their different types of whiskey. They had stuff ranging from the classic stuff, all the way to legal moonshine. The part that made this place my favorite was the cocktail they gave us. It was a mixture of raspberry lemonade, tea, and their whiskey. Hands down the best alcoholic drink I have ever had. Teelings did an incredible job in providing an experience to their visitors.
In Dublin we learned a lot about alcohol and what it takes to make it ready to pour. Each of the places explained a different way and made it their own. Just because they serve liquor doesn’t mean they all have to give the same tour to prospective customers.