Guinness stout beer has been called many things. I just call it good.
As Rick Steves says in his Ireland guidebook, “A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is, for many, a pilgrimage.” This seemed to be true. As we approached the factory, several “pilgrims” stopped to take pictures of each other in front of the huge Guinness sign hanging from a massive wooden gate on the lane leading to the Storehouse. We followed suit.
A cooper’s dream
Halfway through our visit, we paused for a simple lunch while listening to Irish musicians play traditional music.
The place was packed. The few lounge seats scattered along the perimeter were occupied so we stood near the bar counter, sipping. One of the bartenders picked up a mike and asked for everyone’s attention. After announcing that one of the workers was leaving soon to go to school and wishing him a happy journey, she asked if anyone in the house was having a birthday. Mom jabbed the air wildly, pointing me out.
Over the microphone, the woman asked my name and where I was from. Then, after reminding everyone I was sharing my birthday with Arthur Guinness’ 250th, she led the entire bar in a Happy Birthday song to “Melinda from California.” That was a thrilling birthday surprise.
After our pint and my birthday giggles, we jostled back down the stairs to the bottom floor (the “base of the pint”) for a frenzied souvenir-shopping stint. Our pilgrimage complete, Mom and Dad opted to grab a taxi to the hotel while Gino and I chose to mosey and explore our way back.
(Read about the history of Guinness in my previous post: “Arthur Guinness — He’s Our Man!”)