Could have been the Green Bay Packers knit cap that screamed "American tourist" that Ward was wearing as we entered the Guinness Storehouse
. We were quietly approached by an employee who asked if we would be interested in participating in a new tour they were testing. A bit suspicious as to what type of time share scam we were submitting ourselves to, he convinced us by promising a private taste tests of 3 types of Guinness. Okay. Entering the Storehouse is a bit like a Galleria of Guinness. An open concept, round seven stories that mimic a pint glass.
We gathered with a few other chosen ones and were quickly off to begin our Guinness academy. Our guide expertly explained the production, distribution and advertising of the black gold made more than a decade before the US was founded. The marketing was very interesting starting with the first market research indicating that people really thought Guinness was good for them. The consumer statements wouldn't pass FDA guidelines today. There were also some unique efforts at targeted marketing for women or usage occasions such as serving Guinness with seafood. We also learned that the Guinness Book of World Records was basically created to have fun facts for bartenders to use to entertain patrons at the bar. An early version of Bar Trivia Nights!
Finishing the historical bits we were ushered into a private tasting room. We were taught to swirl, smell, big mouthful, savor, swallow and exhale. Beer yoga I was thinking. Fabulous. And I don't even like Guinness. The second tasting was a carbonated version (XX) of the first which is nitrogenated. The third was a stronger West Indies Porter sold in many different countries. I still preferred the original.
After the tasting our guide slash bartender called us to the bar set-up in the room and explained pulling the perfect pint. Tip the glass, fill to the bottom of the harp, straighten the glass filling to the top of the harp. Then the waiting occurs. The settling of the Guinness or "surge" as it's called. 119 seconds while remembering the phrase good things come to those who wait. Top off the beer to the rim. We were ready to give it a try.
Each of us then poured the perfect pint with our two adult children first at the taps. (More info and visuals available here
.) As we drank from our perfectly pulled pint glasses we were each given a certificate to validate our new skill. We filled out a brief survey about the tour and were ushered up to the Gravity Bar to finish our pints and enjoy the amazing views of Dublin. A fabulous tour, a converted customer, and good memories with our kids.