A trip to Dublin with my daughter, my mom and her husband Bill around Mother’s Day. Our tradition, since mom moved to England has been to celebrate Mother’s Day together when we see each other during the year. We usually celebrate Father’s Day at the same time and take Bill out too. Where could we go in Dublin? Well Bill loves beer and mom loves to eat so GUINNESS FACTORY.
Listen up, here’s a tip you will be glad I told you. ORDER THE TICKETS ON LINE! It is true that we could have gotten one Euro off the price of the ticket by waiting in line (with our hop on hop off passes) but we would have lost at least an hour. By booking on-line you have the advantage of securing a time slot. Knowing how crowded this attraction gets, we reserved 11:30am which was also cheaper. We walked past the line, entered our reservation number in the computer which dispensed our tickets and off we went. BYE people in line! I was also able to order custom engraved Guinness glasses which were waiting for us at the gift shop (I walked past that line too – can you tell I’m not a wait-in-line person?).
I was not expecting to like this stop but rather went for the views on the top and for the gang. Jenn wanted to go, Bill likes beer…I was taking one for the team. Turns out this was so much fun I would go again!
The displays are innovative and interactive. There is a floor dedicated to the process of beer making. A waterfall reminds us that water is key. You can run your fingers through a huge display of barley and look inside the beer vats.
Next, a floor devoted to advertising – my favorite one. Coming from the U.K., Bill was familiar with the advertising. This floor is whimsical… a fish riding a bicycle, a photo booth, a musical clam.
Next floor – BEER TASTING! Very interesting and a sense evoking experience. Steam vats represent the scents of the four fragrant beer ingredients. The smells permeate the small room.
I am not a fan of dark, bitter beer. I tried a small sample anyway because it had been some time since I downed a Guinness. My new discover? They now offer a blonde version – when did THIS happen? Since we get a free glass with our tickets I make a mental note to order the blonde in the restaurant.
We were getting hungry so it was time to pick a restaurant. On the 5th floor there are three choices – a cafeteria-style restaurant, a bar or a sit down restaurant. We chose the latter. My daughter and I still laugh about how much mom enjoyed the oysters and her main course, mussels. Mom went on and on about the many virtues of the mussels and how she had not had oysters that good since her childhood in North Carolina. This continued until the food was gone but came up again on the bus ride home. I was so glad they enjoyed our day out.
Bill was in a soup mood. He said it was very good. The chefs use Guinness in the cooking of the dishes.
Here’s that blonde version – doesn’t it make you want to go out and get a beer?
The 1837 Restaurant got its name because 1837 was they year when pairing GUINNESS and oysters made the headlines. We did order oysters and I would love to show you a picture but they were half gone as soon as they hit the table! We enjoyed our meals and thought the food was ample, flavorful and the servers were pleasant.
When we arrived, we were able to secure a table without reservation but we did notice it was filling up as we were leaving. For a view of the area, ask for a table near the window.
Now for my original reason for coming… the bar on the top floor. I have another piece of advice for you – GO TO THE TOP FIRST. By the time we ate and went up top it was so crowded it was claustrophobic. This was anywhere from 1-2pm. In hindsight, had we known this was the main attraction we would have started there.
Dublin is a small, compact city. If at all possible, you may want to save this factory for a rainy day (hey rain happens, especially in Ireland). The factory is handicap accessible with lifts and elevators. Kids would like this place, we did see some and they appeared to be having a good time. The gift store is extensive and multi-level with some cool things… you will probably buy something if you wander in.
What’s the last brewery you visited? I would love to hear about it!