i keep thinking it's going to drop full fall on us and we'll be off to the races in sweaters/boots/all pumpkin everything, but it's still all 90s all the time around here. the longing for cooler weather is throwing me back to our ireland/england trip in may and we still have tons to show you from our trip! andrew and i got exceptionally bold one (week)day of our trip and decided to do the jameson and guinness tours in one day. yes, people, it is very possible. come drink with us!
the first stop of the day was the jameson distillery on bow street. while all of the distilling and bottling takes place now up north in their middleton distillery, this is where the magic all started. be careful if you plan to go soon, though. the website says this location is closed for some updating until spring 2017.
the main area is home to the bar you can visit before or after your tour and the gift shop that has some unique gifts for the whiskey lover in your life. they also have a ton of special reserve bottles which i would so have purchased had we not had to fly home. the tour is quick, yet informative and includes a quick schooling on what separates jameson from a regular scotch or american whiskey (like jack daniels, for example). i'm not typically a whiskey person, but MAN! the others paled in comparison to a little fresh jamie.
PS - if anyone from jameson ever reads this, my birthday is in october and you can just send me one of those bottle chandeliers. thanks in advance.
guinness, at st. james's gate is super popular with tourists and visitors, but is easy to get tickets to and well worth the price of admission. guinness has always been one of my favorite beers so to see where it's all made was pretty dang cool.
while the storehouse has a ton of information on how the beer is made, they also give plenty of nods to their beginnings, history and future. pretty cool to see how such a recognizable global brand got its start. case in point: the photo below is the original lease arthur guinness received in 1759 for 9,000 years. what the what! safe to say guinness will stay at st. james's gate for quite a while :)
how incredibly crazy is the sculpture above? this super intricate statue is 12 feet tall and has all kinds of imagery both about guinness and ireland all the way around. i believe it's been there since 2012 and i hope it never leaves. so, so cool.
on the upper floors of the storehouse/museum, there is an entire guinness advertising archive that features the various spokes-animals they've used (like the classic toucan) as well as commercials that have been shown both in the US and all over the world. being the ad nerd i am, i was blown away by how much stuff they had. from bottle designs when the company first launched to newspaper clippings to ads shown both in the US and abroad, they really had it all. so much history and so many varied campaigns. no wonder the beer is still successful!
after you tour around the brewhouse and learn about the guinness family history, see how the beer is made and traipse through the advertising archive, i highly recommend heading up to the gravity bar on the top floor, which serves you a fresh pint of guinness and offers unparalleled views of dublin. on a clear day, there's nothing better.
long story and a lot of drinks later, make the jameson + guinness stops a priority on your ireland itinerary. the only advice we have? go thirsty.