The Guinness Storehouse
Located in Old City Dublin the Guinness brew house sits on 4 acres of land. With its high walls and industrial setting it feels isolated from the rest of the bustling city. Once inside you are first greeted by the 9,000 year property lease signed by Sir Arthur Guinness in 1759 which lies underneath protective glass in the floor at the center of the room. Directly above cutting through the center of the building is the largest pint glass in the world. If filled with Guinness it would hold over 14.3 million pints of the “Black Stuff”. This is where are tour begins. The tour is conducted in English, non-English speakers may utilize a complimentary audio headset in the language of their choice. The tour then winds through the original brewery detailing every step of the unique brewing process used to create one of the best-selling beers in the world. The brewery produces 3 million pints per day and ships beer to and is the biggest stout export brewery in the world.
After learning the basics of the brewing process, you then are given the opportunity to enter the tasting room. Here you are subjected to a variety of sensory experiences including vaporized scents of 4 major attributes of Guinness and you learn that the nickname “the black stuff” is inaccurate. Guinness is actually a deep ruby red color as evidence when a pint is held up to bright light. This all culminates in tasting Guinness using a unique technique they impart at the conclusion of the program.
After the tasting we recommend a stop at the Guinness Academy where you will be taught the fine art of the 6 steps to pouring the perfect pint. After the lesson you will be able to pour your own Guinness and receive a certificate and photo of your new accomplishment.
With your perfectly poured pint it’s now time to proceed to The Gravity Bar. Here you can relax and take in the beautiful 360 degree views of the city and surrounding areas while reading facts about the beer and quotes from famous Irish writers.
The Foggy Dew
Part old-style Irish Pub, part Hard Rock Café, The Foggy Dew is the perfect place to stop for a pint or two. Located across from the Central Bank Square just a short walk from Fleet Street. The façade of the building. With plenty of seating, two large bars, and dollars from around the world plastered behind the bar it is the eclectic assortment of authentic music memorabilia that sets it apart from the other pub offerings of Temple Bar. Saturday night’s feature great music from The Foggy Dew DJ and Sundays offer some of the best live music you will find in Dublin.
The Foggy Dew is located at 1 Fownes Street, Temple Bar
The Brazen Head
Dating back to 1198 The Brazen Head is officially Ireland’s oldest pub. As you enter the courtyard through the brick archway it may feel like you’re stepping back in time. Whether sitting in the torch lit courtyard or one of the three additional bars inside the history is of this place is palpable. Some of the famous patrons of past are; James Joyce (who mentioned the bar in Ulysses), Johnathan Swift, Brendan Behan, Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’Connell and Michael Collins. With an award winning menu and food served daily in each bar it offers one of the best Guinness Stews in Ireland or for seafood lovers try the fresh cod in their home made special beer batter.
The Brazenhead is located at 20 Bridge Street Lower, Dublin
The Palace Bar
Take a step back in time to 1823, that’s when the Victorian styled Palace bar first opened its doors for business and has largely remained unchanged till this day. Located at the beginning of Fleet Street, at the edge of the Temple Bar district it is easy to forget that you’re in the main tourist area. You can easily feel your modern day problems dissipate and get a genuine feel for Old Dublin as you relax surrounded by its wooden interior and unaltered décor. The mix of locals, tourists, business people and students is quite apparent and effortless. In addition to pouring a great pint of Guinness, The Palace Bar is proud to bring back the tradition of offering its own brand of whiskey and is the first Dublin bar since the 1970’s to do so. With over 100 brands of whiskey it is has something for both the connoisseur and soon to be whiskey lover.
The Palace Bar is located at 21 Fleet Street, Dublin
Named after the local brothel madame, who was burned at the stake and may have been Ireland’s first serial killer, Darkey Kelly’s is very much alive today. Located on historic Fishamble Street in Dublin right across the street from Christ’s Church, it is in one of the oldest parts of the city. With two full bars, spectacular daily live music and a selection of over 80 beers from around the world including local craft brews this is a great place to stop if you’re looking to try something new. Our visit took place in the mid afternoon after not much sleep and a long morning of walking. We quickly settled in by the main bar and ordered a couple of pints. After the obligatory pint of Guinness and a delicious cheeseburger we tried the locally brewed McGargles Fancy Frank’s Lager (Kilcock, Co. Kildare). A somewhat fruity lager it was a nice change of pace from a full morning of drinking Guinness. After sitting and chatting with the barman, David for some time we realized we were facing a potential catastrophe, our cell phones were dying and we had neglected to bring a power adapter. Having inquiring about the closest store to find one David was nice enough to go upstairs to the resident’s only floor and purchase one for us from the vending machine. (we were not guests of the attached hotel)
Darkey Kelley’s is located on Fishamble Street, Dublin
The Quay’s Bar
Located in the heart of the Temple Bar district, The Quay’s Bar is right across the street from Temple Bar Square. With two separate bars, plenty of seating and a small stage for their daily live music shows this is the perfect place to take a short mid-day break. We entered the bar at around 12:30 pm to only 2 other customers that appeared to be finishing up their lunch break from work. Within an hour the live music was underway and the place was half full with people singing along to various cover songs including a very creative mash-up of Lady Gaga’s PokerFace and the 90’s hit Barbie Doll by Aqua. It was truly an auditory experience like no other. The bar is decorated with various knickknacks and old –time bottles of liquor that give it a much older feel then its age of twenty some years. The staff was extremely friendly and attentive and when we asked Daniel to recommend a less touristy place that we probably wouldn’t come across on our own he was more than happy to refer us to his usual spot, The Dame Street Tavern.
The Quay’s Bar is located at 12 Temple Bar, Dublin
The Dame Tavern
Located in the heart of Dublin’s old quarters 18 Dame Court has been operating as a pub consistently since 1892 under several different names. While walking through a dark passage off of Dame St. that cuts through the building housing The Mercantile Hotel you get the feeling of being in an old cold war spy movie, you emerge to a small side street with the tavern immediately across the street to your right. You enter from the corner to a small but open floor bar. The music is understated to allow for healthy conversation between old friends and new. This place was a refreshing break from the packed bars of Fleet Street and we quickly agreed that Daniel from The Quay’s Bar couldn’t have given a better recommendation. We simultaneously heard people discussing current politics, advanced math problems and Connor McGregor the Dublin based UFC fighter. Although it was obvious we were the only tourists there and possibly the first tourists they had seen in some time come through the door, everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. We learned that the bar is approximately 150 years old and is very popular with the after work local crowd. We also discovered that a “whiskey sour” seems to be an American invention as they had no sour mix and only one gentleman in the place had heard of it before, but he had lived in New York City for 20 years. It was here that we met Tom, a twenty-something local who had lived in the U.S. for about a year and was eager to share a few pints and stories with us. As the bar was closing and after several pints and even more off color jokes he invited us to follow him to another bar that was a little more upbeat.
Dame Tavern is located at 18 Dame Court, Dublin