Disclaimer: Please bare in mind that I’m sixteen which is considered both underage in both Europe and the US. Contrary to popular belief, the drinking age in Europe is eighteen—not sixteen. One of the Guinness Factory tour guides kindly explained to my sister, Mom, and I about the whole underage drinking thing in Europe. Basically if a place gets caught serving to minors, they could get their alcohol license taken away AKA: they can no longer serve alcohol to anyone—even if at/above the drinking age. My sister and I kept this information running through our minds each time we visited a bar, pub, or restaurant as we tend to come off as at or above the drinking age.
Our first night in Ireland was basically “Welcome to Dublin now go meet up with the other twelve people in your crew to embrace your Irish blood!”
With twenty-three people in our group, we opted for the private tour at the Guinness Factory which entitled for us to be educated by a Sharon Osborne lookalike.
The tour began with walking around the sweet musky scented building shaped like a pint of Guinness to learn about the five ingredients of Guinness(toasted barely, hops, water, yeast, and Arthur Guinness), distribution and manufacturing of the product, and how to properly drink Guinness with a chance to practice towards the end of the tour.
I personally had a great time on the tour as our guide did a fabulous job at integrate the science of stout making with the history behind the company. I believe it was a few euros extra for the tour guide but from what I heard from someone that went around the place without the guide, the added euros are well spent.
The tour ends with a visit to The Gravity Bar; the uppermost level of the factory surrounded with glass walls providing an incredible view of Dublin. Those with an adult ticket are “fortunate” enough to redeem part of their ticket for either a pint or half-pint of fresh Guinness and invited to enjoy their drink while admiring the view. Those with a childrens’ ticket were allowed to enjoy a complementary soft drink or if you’re either a Celiac(my aunt) or someone who doesn’t really drink soda such as myself, the air tasted incredible.
Everyone in the bar was relaxed and just enjoying themselves while not rushing anything; a steep contrast from what we endured in five days of London ram-rod. Even my parents who were getting pretty stressed out and frustrated frustrated seemed to be having the time of their lives as they enjoyed their beloved Irish Guinness minus the US preservatives. Pure Guinness and pure happiness.
In fact, my parents love Guinness so much that they named one of our three cats after the beloved stout so when we realized they had a gift shop, you better believe we did some pretty serious damage. And as we arrived to dinner, we noticed Dublin loves the drink just as much as we do: