The World of Guinness
Yesterday we visited the Guinness factory in Dublin. We went by bus and then a strong nose-filling stench guided us up the street of the Brewery to the entrance of the factory. After taking a group photo in front of the huge wooden door we entered the Brewery and soon discovered that our ticket could be exchanged for a Guinness at the Hopstore Sample Bar at the end of the guided tour. It is a shame that we are under age still, and thus cannot drink beer, but the teacher told us she will gladly share her own Guinness with all of us. So we spend the tour trying to figure how to share a beer in twenty people and planning ways to get more.
The guided tour was slow and boring but we learnt that Arthur Guinness started brewing ale when beer was still virtually unknown in Ireland and other drinks such as whiskey and gin were much preferred. Guinness soon decided to develop his own recipe for porter, a black ale that was at the time produced in London and that is how the Guinness beer was born in the second half of the 18th century. We discovered that there are four main ingredients to brew Guinness; barley, hops, yeast and the water coming from the Wicklow Mountains. The dark color of the beer is given by roasted barley and malt while the tangy taste is given by hops. The yeast is added during the fermentation process and it serves to convert sugar into alcohol before it is removed. At the end of the brewing process, the Guinness is matured and conditioned for about 10 days in tall storage tanks.
At the end of the tour we sit at the Hopstore which really looks like a typical Irish pub with wooden tables and chairs and Guinness’ posters and slogans pinned to all walls. Our teacher’s beer is over in one round of the table but she manages to convert another couple of tickets so we can actually taste a little more of this beer that I find very tasty. But it is strong as well so I’m actually glad that there is so little to drink.
Altogether I enjoyed this tour, especially the last part because it was the first time we were allowed into an Irish pub.