Guinness Connoisseur Experience

IMG_9457If you are in Dublin, I’m sure one of your stops will be at the Guinness Factory. However, if you love Guinness, I’m going to recommend that you take things 1-step further and do the Connoisseur Experience. While the Guinness Factory is visited by millions of tourists, only about 0.5% of those visitors are able to take part in the Connoisseur Experience because it’s only offered to a limited number.

We booked the Connoisseur Experience for our baby-moon in January. My husband’s all-time favorite beer is Guinness and so he already knew about the tasting experience and I made sure that it was on our to-do list for the trip (even though I wasn’t going to be doing any tasting). Buying tickets for the tour is easy. You can book them straight through the Guinness website and pay in Euros, or you can go through this super-handy Viator link.

IMG_9470If you are doing the Connoisseur Experience, it’s recommended that you arrive about an hour and a half early in order to tour the factory first, take part in the tasting, and to drink your free drink at the Gravity Bar overlooking Dublin. We were only about 30 minutes early due to a mix-up with the Hop-On/Hop-Off Schedule (we had an outdated map!) and so we only had time to walk through the factory before our tour. If you purchased a Hop-On/Hop-Off Schedule, each bus has a stop right outside the factory. The tour is great although it’s very commercial. You won’t see the actual factory, or smell any actual beer being brewed, but it is a nice set-up. Our favorite part was the Advertising section where you could take pictures with the Guinness animals (isn’t this turtle cute?).

IMG_9474For the Connoisseur Experience  you are asked to arrive promptly to the Guinness Academy which is at the end of the self-guided tour. If you are rushed for time, don’t worry, you can go easily go back and do any parts of the tour that you missed. After you check-in at the desk, you are shown to a private lounge area where you can read copies of The Guinness Book of World Records while you wait (interestingly, the idea Guinness Book of World Records was IMG_9481conceived by employees of the factory, you can ready about it on Wikipedia!).

When it’s time for the tasting, you are shown to a super-secretive room with a private bar that has about 15 bar stools around it. The tasting lasts about an hour and half and the entire time, you are told stories about the history of Guinness and how they develop the different types of beer. All tasters in our session got to try four different varieties: original Guinness right out of the tap, the Foreign Extra Stout, the West Indies Porter, and the Rye Pale Ale. It was interesting to hear all the details that go into being a beer connoisseur. You have to think about everything from the type of glass, to the speed and angle of the pour to get the perfect taste! IMG_9476

At the end of the tasting, everyone gets a turn at the tap to pour their own perfect glass including finishing it off with the perfect foamy top! And you leave with a certificate as a souvenir!

Note: We are an affiliate of Viator which means we do receive compensation when you use our link to purchase your tickets. There is no additional cost to our readers.


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