Dublin: Arthur’s Day and the Guinness Storehouse

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Dubliner's drink to Arthur's Day even in the rain. Photo: Nerosunero
Dubliner's drink to Arthur's Day even in the rain. Photo: Nerosunero

There’s one day of year when the spotlight in Dublin is completely on Guinness: Arthur’s Day. This holiday celebrates the man, Arthur Guinness, who gave the city its quintessential drink.

On Thursday September 27, 2012 Dubliners have an extra excuse to head to their local for a pint. Some will celebrate by simply raising a glass, while others will partake in festivities throughout the city. Arthur’s Day has also become tied to music, and several bands—such as Mumford and Sons—are playing small venues throughout the city and country beyond.

Who is Arthur?

The man behind the famous Irish pint is Arthur Guinness, who in 1759 signed a 9,000-year lease on an old brewery in St. James’s Gate, Dublin. The initial cost was 100 pounds, with an annual rent of 45 pounds. Importantly, this deal also included water rights. Over 250 years ago, Arthur started brewing porter and ale.

Guinness Today

The original lease that Arthur Guinness signed still stands, and Guinness is brewed in the same part of Dublin, called St. James’s Gate, just west of city center. Today it is brewed 365 days a year and the Guinness Storehouse is also home to a popular museum.

Interactive exhibits show visitors what goes into Guinness: barley, hops, water, and a special strain of yeast. That’s all: Just four ingredients combine to create the complex flavors of this stout.

The Gravity Bar

After learning how to pour a perfect pint in the museum, keep climbing the stairs to the Gravity Bar. Perched on top of the brewery, this sky-high watering hole offers incredible views over the rooftops of Dublin. It is circular, with floor to ceiling windows, and descriptions on the glass tell you what landmarks you’re looking at, such as Trinity College or St. Stephen’s Green.

A ticket to the Guinness Storehouse includes one pint of the black stuff (purchase your ticket online in advance for a discount and to skip the lines). It takes almost three full minutes for the perfect pour of Guinness, and remember to let it settle before taking that magical first sip.

Watching the sunset in the Gravity Bar or raising a glass in a local pub for Arthur’s Day, something about Guinness just tastes better in the city where it was born.

Read more about Arthur’s Day on the official Guinness Web site. If you’re heading to Dublin, be sure to stop by our Dublin guide to read about recommended budget hotels in the city, all inspected and approved.

About the author

Jessica Colley is a freelance travel writer and poet. She blogs about Dublin and more at www.thegreatamericantraveldream.com.

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