Walking through the streets of Dublin, tourists and locals alike hold pints of Guinness in pubs and smoking areas around. What does it take to pour a perfect pint of Guinness?
Back in 1759, a visionary named Arthur Guinness signed a lease for some land in Dublin for 9000 years. Little did he know that thousands of people from around the world would flock there to see how Guinness is made. Walking through the storehouse tour, you are ushered into a massive room shaped similarly like a pint glass. Right in the middle is the lease signed by Arthur Guinness.
The pint shaped room was in fact part of the old brewery, a fermentation chamber used between 1904 and 1988 which when filled to its maximum capacity held 14.3 million pints of Guinness. This piece of history now houses the tourist shop, filled with Guinness memorabilia and bottles throughout the ages.
The tour is perfectly set to allow the mood of drinking to fully settle. Moving from floor to floor, learning about the process of brewing Guinness from the ingredients used to the brewing process.
By the time we headed to the second floor my mouth was parched and was looking forward to hitting the gravity bar on the seventh floor. Fortunately, the second floor was the ‘Taste experience’, whereby we gained insight into the smells of the ingredients and we got a little taster. Handed a small glass of the ‘black stuff’ as it is known in a clinically white room, we were asked to hold it to the light and there you can see that in fact Guinness is red not black.
An expert taster then taught us how to drink our pints. Not simply, lift glass to mouth and swallow, but more stand tall and proud, elbow up, deep breath in, large gulp and breathe out.
Now that I had whet the appetite for Guinness, I had to learn how to pour my perfect pint and then thoroughly enjoy drinking it.
Skimming through the advertising on the third floor, we scurried to the fourth and were welcomed by the Guinness Academy. Between 600 and 1000 people visit this spot on the tour every day. Three bars hosting two Guinness bar taps each surrounded in Guinness bottles were our classrooms.
Naturally, a pint is to be served in a chilled, clean glass. Tilted to a 45-degree angle at the tap, simply pull the tap and let the glorious black stuff flow to Guinness insignia on the glass and then straighten. These were the teachings by our lecturer.
Allow flowing to the top of the harp and then letting the not so complete pint settle. This is where the magic happens, where the frothy beer starts mixing and getting darker.
Once the beer has settled, we can top up the beer by rimming it, basically allowing the froth of the beer to sit just above the rim of the pint glass. This whole process takes 119.5 sec and the beer is served at its optimum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. For our perfect efforts we were not only allowed to enjoy the spoils of our efforts but we were also made honorary graduates of the Academy.
Heading further up the pint glass tour, we have our hearts set on the gravity bar with 360-degree views of Dublin and most of its landmarks. Another pint of Guinness to enjoy the views and take in everything we have just seen and learnt.
So if you are planning on heading to Dublin in the next 8746 years, go visit the Guinness storehouse and enjoy some of the black stuff.