A Little Answer…How to Pull the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Affectionately referred to as “Irish mothers’ milk” by some and “the pint that drinks like a meal” by others, Guinness is a cultural right of passage on a visit to Ireland…and as a fiercely Irish yank (although to be clear, I’m not actually a yank…but in Ireland, if you’re American, they call you a yank no matter where in the states you call home) the Guinness Factory Tour was tops on my “must-see” list.

Just Dying to Know How they Pull a Pint of Guinness?

Now, before you wrinkle your nose and proclaim “I don’t drink Guinness,” I loved the Factory tour for so many more reasons beyond the fact that I enjoy a pint of beer here and there. I’m a big lover of knowledge and geek-out over a learning nuanced (and sometimes useless) information.

The Guinness Factory tour was well done on every level and newbies to Dublin should wander by for a visit (I was able to easily walk there from the heart of downtown). They have several floors of interactive displays, recorded videos, flowing water, colored lights, and every piece of information you could possibly care to know about how stout is made. I’m actually glad I was solo at this point in the trip because I was able to spend however long I wanted reading the displays and absorbing the information.

Guinness Storehouse

Signs on the tall walls point the way to the Guinness Storehouse

Whatever you want to learn – they’ll teach you! I learned not only how Guinness is made–from water, yeast, hops and barley, but I caught an expert explaining precisely how to pull a perfect pint of Guinness too. Although my bartending days are long over (and we didn’t serve draft Guinness at my restaurant, so I never learned!) I got the chance to put the lesson into practice and pull my own pint and then drink it!

Yeast, A Guinness IngredientGuinness Draft DisplayPulling a Pint of Guinness

With the factory tour over I hiked the remaining staircase up to the top of the Guinness Factory to catch the sunset and 360 degree views over the city while I sipped my very own pint of complimentary Guinness.

The tour is, in two words, fun & educational. I’ll admit that I do certainly enjoy a pint of the black-stuff (yet another pet name for Guinness) on its own accord, but the history behind the drink was key to making the Factory tour a must-see in my book.

View from the top, Gravity Bar

Views over Dublin City from Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Building

My favorite new fact? The yeast they use today is rumored as descended from the yeast Arthur Guinness himself used in developing the drink back in 1759. The brew-master keeps a small bit from each batch to use in the next.

Tell me, what do you geek out on when you’re traveling?

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32 Responses to A Little Answer…How to Pull the Perfect Pint of Guinness

  1. ShannonOD February 11, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Thanks Brian, I agree about Dublin, although I'm not usually a city person,
    I really enjoyed finding the little charms of the city…and the pints of
    Guinness :-)

  2. brianwhelan February 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Call it strange but I love to hear of visitors enjoying the real taste of Guinness and other enjoyable experiences in Dublin – it's a city with so much to offer (see profile)

    • ShannonOD February 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

      Thanks Brian, I agree about Dublin, although I'm not usually a city person,
      I really enjoyed finding the little charms of the city…and the pints of
      Guinness :-)

  3. brianwhelan February 9, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Call it strange but I love to hear of visitors enjoying the real taste of Guinness and other enjoyable experiences in Dublin – it's a city with so much to offer (see profile)

  4. ShannonOD February 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    I do actually like Guinness – I stopped drinking liquor for the most part
    after college and have really learned to love the different beers…so to
    answer the question – yeah! I can down a pint or two of Guinness! ;-)

    That being said, Bulmer's Irish Cider was one of my favorite drinks in
    Ireland too and goes down a bit easier after a big meal – it's tangy and
    just a tad sweet and still wholly Irish if you ever get a chance to try it
    :-) (tip – the pear is waaay too sweet, but the apple is spot on!)

  5. Gourmantic February 3, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I'd love to take that tour! Guinness is an acquired taste as far as it and I are concerned, something I reserve for St Patrick's day. I find it tastes better when it's off the tap than from a can. Mind you I can never finish a pint! Were you able to drink it all?

    • ShannonOD February 4, 2010 at 5:12 am #

      I do actually like Guinness – I stopped drinking liquor for the most part
      after college and have really learned to love the different beers…so to
      answer the question – yeah! I can down a pint or two of Guinness! ;-)

      That being said, Bulmer's Irish Cider was one of my favorite drinks in
      Ireland too and goes down a bit easier after a big meal – it's tangy and
      just a tad sweet and still wholly Irish if you ever get a chance to try it
      :-) (tip – the pear is waaay too sweet, but the apple is spot on!)

  6. Gourmantic February 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I'd love to take that tour! Guinness is an acquired taste as far as it and I are concerned, something I reserve for St Patrick's day. I find it tastes better when it's off the tap than from a can. Mind you I can never finish a pint! Were you able to drink it all?

  7. Earl February 1, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    I geek out on food. I dedicate half of my time traveling in search of random street food. And if I find a gem, I love learning exactly how the food is prepared.

    As for beer, I'm with nomadicchick – Hoegaarden all the way!

  8. Earl January 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    I geek out on food. I dedicate half of my time traveling in search of random street food. And if I find a gem, I love learning exactly how the food is prepared.

    As for beer, I'm with nomadicchick – Hoegaarden all the way!

  9. nomadicchick January 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    I always geek out on history, art and architecture. Blech, I can't abide by Guinness, one night I tried, nearly spit out the stuff. Doesn't something like sarsaparilla cut it back? :) Hehe.

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      I am with you on history – I like to learn minute little facts about a new
      town or site. Art though is hit or miss for me…I try really hard to get
      it, but sometimes that just doesnt happen :-) As for the Guinness – are
      you a beer drinker at all? I found that after a year of traveling around the
      world and trying every new beer I could get my hands on, that I was prepped
      for the unique flavor of Guinness. :-) But it's definitely not for
      everyone, I get that!

      • nomadicchick January 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

        Perhaps I should reconsider it closer to the source. You sound like a veteran beer drinker. I tend to enjoy light beers. My fave of late is Hoegaarden White Ale with a slice of fresh orange, so tasty and refreshing! I need to leave this comment page to grab one now, excuse me.. :-D

        • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

          Oh man, that sounds like a really amazing beer – I haven't tried it, but
          it's on my list for sure – and with that orange…mmm…now you make me want
          to go grab one! Cheers and hope that one you just grabbed was tasty ;-)

  10. ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Oh man, that sounds like a really amazing beer – I haven't tried it, but
    it's on my list for sure – and with that orange…mmm…now you make me want
    to go grab one! Cheers and hope that one you just grabbed was tasty ;-)

  11. nomadicchick January 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Perhaps I should reconsider it closer to the source. You sound like a veteran beer drinker. I tend to enjoy light beers. My fave of late is Hoegaarden White Ale with a slice of fresh orange, so tasty and refreshing! I need to leave this comment page to grab one now, excuse me.. :-D

  12. ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I am with you on history – I like to learn minute little facts about a new
    town or site. Art though is hit or miss for me…I try really hard to get
    it, but sometimes that just doesnt happen :-) As for the Guinness – are
    you a beer drinker at all? I found that after a year of traveling around the
    world and trying every new beer I could get my hands on, that I was prepped
    for the unique flavor of Guinness. :-) But it's definitely not for
    everyone, I get that!

  13. nomadicchick January 30, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I always geek out on history, art and architecture. Blech, I can't abide by Guinness, one night I tried, nearly spit out the stuff. Doesn't something like sarsaparilla cut it back? :) Hehe.

  14. ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Oh man! Agreed completely Candice! It's really got a unique flavor when it's
    closer to the source I guess. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I don't
    drink Guinness back home ;-) but I definitely enjoyed it more over there!

  15. ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Oh man! Agreed completely Candice! It's really got a unique flavor when it's
    closer to the source I guess. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I don't
    drink Guinness back home ;-) but I definitely enjoyed it more over there!

  16. ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Thanks Anil,glad that your vaca over there was great! I'm betting you
    imbibed quite a few pints – I know I went over budget just enjoying the
    Guinness :-)

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      I liked the tour! Lol, but I am a geek. Agreed on the view though,
      definitely great – I caught it near sunset and it was a neat place to just
      relax and look out over the city :-)

  17. Candice January 30, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Ok, is it just me, or does Guinness in Ireland taste NOTHING like the Guinness over here? When I was in Ireland (and actually even England), I drank Guinness a LOT…I loved it…here, I can't even sip it. And that's a big deal considering how much I love beer.

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      Oh man! Agreed completely Candice! It's really got a unique flavor when it's
      closer to the source I guess. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I don't
      drink Guinness back home ;-) but I definitely enjoyed it more over there!

  18. Andy January 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    The view from the bar is one of the best in the city, in fact, and well worth the cheesy tour. :)

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

      I liked the tour! Lol, but I am a geek. Agreed on the view though,
      definitely great – I caught it near sunset and it was a neat place to just
      relax and look out over the city :-)

  19. Candice January 29, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    Ok, is it just me, or does Guinness in Ireland taste NOTHING like the Guinness over here? When I was in Ireland (and actually even England), I drank Guinness a LOT…I loved it…here, I can't even sip it. And that's a big deal considering how much I love beer.

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 8:03 am #

      I liked the tour! Lol, but I am a geek. Agreed on the view though,
      definitely great – I caught it near sunset and it was a neat place to just
      relax and look out over the city :-)

  20. Anil January 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Awesome post :) I was just there over the weekend and loved it. Actually makes me thirsty right now…

    • ShannonOD January 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

      Thanks Anil,glad that your vaca over there was great! I'm betting you
      imbibed quite a few pints – I know I went over budget just enjoying the
      Guinness :-)

  21. Andy January 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    The view from the bar is one of the best in the city, in fact, and well worth the cheesy tour. :)

  22. Anil January 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Awesome post :) I was just there over the weekend and loved it. Actually makes me thirsty right now…

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