Yesterday my group had an entire free day to do whatever we wanted in Dublin. It was nice to not have an obligation to get to so we were all free to explore the city and do some of the "touristy" things around the city. A few of the girls and I decided to go to the Guinness Factory and Storehouse. It was a little confusing to get there; surprisingly it is not located in one of the more central locations in Dublin.
I hadn't given much thought to what I thought the storehouse would be - mostly I assumed it would be a guided tour of the actual factory and you got to see the beer being made. But actually it was nothing like that. The "storehouse" was really a museum with 5 stories and each floor had a different theme. The first floor showed videos of the actual process of making beer and there were several of the original brewing machines on display. The other floors consisted of creating the beer barrels, advertising through the years, the history of Arthur Guinness and the actual company, and learning how to pour the perfect cup of Guinness. None of it was at all like I expected but it was very interesting just the same. The original machines and advertisements from the 1800s were fascinating to see and you realize that there is a serious process that goes into brewing beer; even the quality of water used can make a huge difference.
The best part of the factory by far, though, was the infamous Gravity Bar that was on the 5th floor of the museum. This bar was a circular room with almost a 360 degree glass view of the city. The windows were from floor to ceiling and it was breathtaking to be able to see so much of the city from that height. The Gravity Bar was also where each visitor over the age of 18 received a free pint of Guinness. While the factory was very interesting, I did love finally sitting down with a refreshing glass of Guinness and take in the sights of Dublin. (Although, I have to admit that I did not drink the entire Guinness because I didn't want to get sick from the hops and barley - but it was still delicious!)