Friday, June 6, 2008

Guinness and Pubs in Dublin, Ireland

Guinness is a popular dry stout that originated in Arthur Guinness' brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland. The beer is based on the porter style that originated in London in the early 18th century. It is one of the most successful beer brands in the world, being exported worldwide. It is very popular in Ireland, of course, although many other types and brands of beer are available in pubs.

The self-guided tour of the Guinness Storehouse Center is a very popular thing to do while visiting Dublin. You can actually smell Guinness in the air when you are in this part of Dublin, as you can see by the exhaust steam being released from the brewery in the photo below.

The tour describes the four ingredients that make Guinness -- water barley hops and yeast.

Guinness used an advertising campaign in the 1920's where they claimed at the time that "Guinness is Good For You," and it was served to hospital patients and nursing mothers. Surprising enough the claim may be somewhat true -- the BBC reported findings that "antioxidant compounds" found in Guinness may actually lower cholesterol!

Guinness is brewed to make a thick black stout. It certainly is an acquired taste, much more bitter and heavier than the other types of beer, but my husband and I enjoy it. There is nothing better than a fresh Guinness pint in Dublin, the city where it is produced!

Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease with the city of Dublin in 1759 for the St. James Gate property where the original brewery was located. The final family member to be directly involved with the running of the Brewery was Benjamin Guinness who passed away in 1992. Today, the brewery is owned by Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, who also boast Baileys, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker Whisky among others in their drinks portfolio.

The Guinness family was very influential in Dublin, and all of Ireland, especially Edward Cecil Guinness who was to be the first Lord Iveagh. He was also responsible for establishing the Guinness Trust, which later became known as the Iveagh Trust and provided homes for the poor in both Dublin and London and other philanthropic works.

Aside from the fact that you can spend the day discovering the ingredients, process, craft, time and passion that goes into making each individual pint at the Guinness Storehouse, you can also relax in the lavish Gravity Bar, seen above, with your free pint that is offered when you take the tour. The Gravity Bar is situated above the roof, and from the outside is seen as the head of a pint of Guinness. This is the highest bar in Ireland and has 360 degrees panoramic views across Dublin – an experience not to be missed!

Dublin’s pubs are a ubiquitous part of its living history and culture. They are the famous haunts of its literary set, politicians, rock stars and of course, Dubliners! During the daytime, whole families can be seen visiting pubs, and coffee, tea soda, and bottled waters are usually available.
We were told that there are almost 1,000 pubs in the city, so I'd like to show you some of our favorites.

Below is Dawson Lounge --The Dawson Lounge is located on Dawson Street at the Stephens Green and it calls itself "probably the smallest pub in the world." You enter through the red door, go down a winding staircase to the basement room which can only hold about 20 people. It was fun to experience such a cozy space underground.

Next is The Brazen Head, which is located on Bridge Street on the south side of the city and is the oldest pub in Dublin, a pub having always stood on this spot since 1198.

The Brazen Head has lots of nook and cranny areas to sit in, and a nice buffet lunch selection. This is where we had a delicious vegetable soup for lunch one day. I was sitting in an area that was wallpapered with American dollar bills that past patrons signed and left behind to tell everyone they had visited. We visited this pub the last time we were in Ireland and enjoyed the atmosphere so much we had to come back. I highly recommend it to anyone who visits!

The Temple Bar area of Dublin is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as "Dublin's cultural quarter" and has a lively nightlife and pubs that are popular with both tourists and locals.

The Temple Bar is situated in the heart of Temple Bar, and is consistently one of the liveliest pubs in Temple Bar! That sounds a little like a tongue twister rhyme, doesn't it?

The Oliver St.John Gogarty Pub is situated on the corner of Fleet Street and Anglesea Street in the center of Temple Bar. It offers a good lively atmosphere with music filling the air - both Irish and the latest sounds. A live band plays upstairs at the weekend.

My husband and I had a fun time celebrating the European (soccer) Cup match at Gogarty's Pub one evening. Two teams from the United Kingdom were competing in Moscow, and it was on the TVs everywhere.

Located in the heart of Temple Bar the Auld Dubliner is a very lively place. It was very crowded the day we stopped by, so we didn't go in, and I only took photos of the outside of it.

Another "photo only" pub we passed -- the Ha'penny Bridge Inn, which is situated on Wellington Quay in the city center.

It is located right next to the Ha'Penny Bridge which crosses over the Liffey River!

The Quays is situated in the heart of Temple Bar and is a great spot. During the day, it gets a steady stream of people in and out enjoying it's pleasant and amiable atmosphere

The next two pubs I only took photos of because I liked their exteriors, especially the flowers growing over their windows and doorways.
Dohney Nesbitts is located on Baggot Street at the Stephens Green end. From the outside it looks like a small pub, but it opens out at the back into a lively open area

The John Kehoe Pub below is situated on South Anne Street juts down the road from the busy shopping area of Grafton Street. The sign on the side of the building said it was established in 1803, and has a James Joyce quote on it:
"In the particular is contained the universal"
followed by this prose by "Luke --barman."
"Within these walls, years have passed by; From the talented and famous to the apples of ones eye. All walks have tread footsteps and sipped the pint of stout. Kehoe’s with all its charm and beauty will surely live generations out!"

Ireland has a "no smoking" law for public places, including pubs, since 2004, so many pubs have an outdoor beer garden, if possible, where smoking is allowed. It's a great idea, and I'm happy to say that New York City has the same law.

The Stags Head is situated in Dame Court which is just off Georges Street. It has an old style feel inside with wooden decor. I only stopped to take a photo of it's pretty entrance mosaic floor.

Bruxelles is situated on Harry Street just off the middle of Grafton Street. Upstairs is the casual pub playing the latest music, downstairs has both a rock music area and an alternative music area.

There is a commemorative statue of Phil Lynott, rock bassist for the group " Thin Lizzy" outside Bruxelles.

Many of the pubs in Ireland offer meals and entertainment, and all can be a community gathering place for socializing and sharing stories and daily events.
They certainly were a wonderful place to spend an hour or two, relax, listen to music and have a delicious lunch or dinner!

Slainte! (Cheers)

Next blog I'll show you the beautiful St. Stephens Green Park in Dublin.

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lisa said...

do they have irish car bombs in ireland, or is that purely an american drink? gotta love those car bombs!

katylinvw said...

i love all your pics! thanks for sharing your lovely trip with us!

PAT said...

Cheers indeed, Pat! I'm enjoying your trip, so much!

Now, here is a little co-inkydink. We received a package from Dublin, while we were at the lake last weekend. No, it wasn't Stout and it wasn't from Dublin Ireland. It was Dr Pepper from Dublin Texas! I blogged about in my Memory Lane post.


Anonymous said...

Pat, I have to tell you that I just laughed when I saw the subject of your post today.

I am having a growly Friday at work, and I could use a good Guinness just about now.

I love all of the pubs. They each seem to have their own character.

Tess Kincaid said...

I wonder if our little local Brazen Head is patterned after the original?

That mosaic floor at the entrance to The Stags Head is wonderful. I would love to have that at my doorway!

All the pubs are so unique and charming.

Vee said...

Wow! What a tour! Of all those great photos, my fav is of your husband with a pint in each hand. :D

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

That's a lot of pubs! I don't know how you keep all that information straight. Very always. I love the Stags Head mosaic.

Rue said...

I loved every minute of this tour and can't wait for the rest :)

I was most surprised by the no smoking law. I thought everyone smoked there LOL


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Wow! What amazes me is how clean Dublin is. When I was traveling in Italy this spring, there was alot of graffiti and trash all over the bigger cities....

And I loved the Stags Head Mosaic, of course :-)

Tara said...


What a great post and such a lievly time! Good for you, you really enjoyed yourself!


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
What a fabulous post! It looks you and your hubby were having a grand ole time!! The photos of you two are great. ALL your photos are great, the pubs look so colorful and inviting. I like the old world look.
Sorry I haven't been by to see you, been working too much this week and am trying to play catchup!
Have a fabulous weekend, Cheers!!
Hugs, Sherry

Stevyn Colgan said...

Ah, Dublin. I've spent many happy hours there (I can't remember some of them admittedly!) and your post brought back many memories. Thanks!

As for Lisa's comment ... I can't believe that there's a drink called an 'Irish Car Bomb' in the USA though. What incredible poor taste! Having seen what the Irish (IRA) car bombs did to people (two of my close friends were seriously maimed and one killed) and buildings here in UK in the 1970s and 1980s, I shudder at the thought that anyone celebrates them in a drink. It's a strange world ...

However, let's end on an upbeat note. Slainte! I look forward to reading your further adventures.

Just A Girl said...

Hi Pat,
SO MANY PUBS! How did you manage to make it to so many? I was looking at the picture of the Atmosphere Bar and didn't realize Dublin was that large. I loved the Brazen Head with the dollar wall and your sweet face in front of it. Oh, the pics on my blog I snatch from here and there on the internet. They are mostly from a Victorian artist by the name of Waterhouse. Because he's long gone I beleive it's ok to use them. I do hope I'm not breaking any rules.
Have a fun filled weekend.

Just A Girl said...

I have to say I agree with Stevyn about that drink name. It's a little bit disturbing that someone would glorify such a terrible act by naming a drink after it.

PAT said...

Hi Pat

To answer your question about the peanuts and soda. You pour them into a small bottle of soda and drink from the bottle. As you drink, the peanuts fall into your mouth, all awash with the soda. It really is very good! And of course a happy memory treat for us. We've split three of our cans of Dublin Dr Pepper. We're making them last, because this particular Dr Pepper made with pure can sugar, isn't available in Missouri. The peanut concoction doesn't work well in cans. While the peanuts in the glass of soda is good, having it in a bottle is so much better!

Hope you are having a delightful Saturday.

PAT said...

oops, make that pure CANE, not can.


Gina said...

Wow Pat..what a wonderful place to visit.. Temple Bar has so much character. Great to see you made the most of your visit and another yummy lunch! :)

Kathy said...

Hi Pat, Nice to meet you too, We are just back from Dublin we had a fantastic time and you are right about the dollar!! ugh. It is so funny I just showed my hubby your photo's and we must have followed you around as we went to the Guinness factory then to the Brazen Head,(all that money!!. then on to Temple Bar and the big yellow pub, we cannot stop laughing, your photo's are identical to ours haha. I will post some of our photo's soon, we went to Powerscourt House, in Enniskerry, beautiful georgian house and gardens. The weather was glorious, glad you had a wonderful time, hugs Kathy.

Unknown said...

Hi Pat, wonderful pictures and am sure you had a fantastic time visiting. happy weekend :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Stevyn, I'm happy you left a comment on my blog. Yes, I agree the name of that drink is in poor taste, and I am so sad to hear what happened to your friends.
I certainly wouldn't want to hear that a drink was named after 9/11 but unfortunately I'm sure there is one somewhere in the world. Sometimes youth can be callous about things like that.
I hope that the peace that has been achieved between NI and the Republic of Ireland will remain strong, and that terrorist groups all over the world will be defeated.

Tracy said...

I'm thirsty just looking at this post--LOL! Dublin looks amazing! I so hope we get there one day...Have so much been enjoying these posts from your trip, Pat. Happy weekend ((HUGS))

CatHerder said...

SLAINTE!!!! That is my DREAM TRIP...i have been asking hubby for 27 years. My youngest wants to go for graduation next year, so we are trying to butter him up!!!! Great pics!

Anonymous said...

What fun. You've really captured the feel for the buildings and pubs. That meal looks amazing. I am a big fan of Guiness:)
Cheers, Shelagh

Emily said...

Hi! I found your blog as I was looking online for websites about Ireland. My husband and I plan on going next year. Your post just made me more excited about going! Thank you!
Emily from Texas