20 Jan Dublin Distilleries, Pubs and Parties
The majority of our time in Dublin was spent at a travel conference, and at a few events that we were able to attend in conjunction with the conference. Although we didn’t get much free time to explore the city, we were still able to hit up some great sites and wander around a bit as well. We managed to stop at the Jameson Distillery, the Guinness Storehouse, The Irish House Party, and have a fun night out at the Temple Bar area with some new friends.
Taking a tour of the Jameson Distillery was a great way to spend an afternoon. The details of the old distillery building are beautiful and you learn the interesting history and process of how the famous whiskey is made. Unfortunately, since the whiskey is no longer made in the Dublin building as it is now made in Cork, you won’t get a glimpse of where the whiskey is actually made today.
The tour starts off with a short film giving an introduction to the history of the distillery and it tells you a bit about Jameson himself. Next you are whisked through a guided tour of the museum where you will see how the whiskey is made through room after room of displays.
During the tour, when the guide asks for volunteers, make sure to raise your hand if you want to become a certified Jameson taster. Once the tour is over, you will head into the bar for a taste of Jameson–if you volunteered earlier in the tour, it is here that you will get to taste test the Jameson whiskey and compare it to two other whiskeys. If you did not volunteer, you will still get to enjoy a drink of Jameson while you watch the testers do their job. For anyone wanting more of the distillery and not quite ready to leave, there is also a restaurant, bar and gift shop for you to enjoy as well.
We visited the Guinness Storehouse as part of the TBEX travel conference opening night party, so we didn’t get a complete view of how the place looks in full operation, but we did still get to explore the storehouse and enjoy the fun that is offered to everyone on a regular day. The museum leads you through the ingredients and the craft of brewing Guinness and how it is advertised and transported around the world.
One room is full of portraits that will speak to you and tell you bits of the Guinness story. After making your way through the history of the stout, you can learn how to properly taste Guinness in a room that will overload your senses. Crafting the perfect pint is another activity you can participate in if you so choose. You will learn how to pour the perfect pint–it definitely takes some talent and a lot of patience as you need to let the pint rest for 119.5 seconds about three quarters of the way through your pour. They have it down to a science and it’s not as easy as it looks!
To cap off your visit, you can enjoy food in the cafe, possible live music, and spectacular views from the gorgeous Gravity Bar. My favorite part of the entire storehouse was the Gravity Bar as it gives you 360° views overlooking the city through floor to ceiling windows.
The Irish House Party
Originally we bypassed this event when looking into activities for our time in Dublin, but knowing that we were sure to be exhausted on our last night in the city, we decided to check out more relaxing options in more detail. After stumbling across The Irish House Party again, we figured we might as well watch a little preview of the show to see what we thought. Well, I’m glad we did because we ended up getting drawn into the traditional Irish music and dancing and decided to sign up for an evening of great food, company and entertainment. The champion musicians created the show to revolt against the ‘cheesy’ music that was often played throughout Dublin, and created a show to showcase real traditional Irish music.
The evening started off with a traditional three course dinner–there were multiple options to choose from such as Beef and Guinness Stew, Irish Salmon or Herb Stuffed Fillet of Irish Chicken. We both ended up picking the chicken and it was delicious. After dinner, we walked across the street to the theater for the show. The stage was set up to resemble a living room with couches, lamps and bookshelves and the musicians sat around playing music, telling stories and step dancing the night away.
Temple Bar is an area in Dublin that has been dubbed the cultural quarter of the city. With the cobblestone streets and plentiful pubs, restaurants, shops, and artistic culture, it’s easy to see how this area got its claim to fame.
The last evening of the conference, we decided to head to Temple Bar for the evening with some of our friends before parting ways. We had such a fun evening listening to great, energetic music at The Quays Bar and The Porterhouse Brewing Company. The Porterhouse has such a fun atmosphere–it is a smaller building but rises up about 5 stories tall, and you can see the band by looking up or down through the middle of the staircase.
Everywhere we went was completely packed, but I don’t think I’ve ever stood in crowds with such nice people! Instead of everyone just pushing their way through the crowd, we were met with never ending sorry’s and excuse me’s, and happy people every way we turned. It certainly made a packed house that much more pleasant, and proved once again just how nice the people of Ireland are. We can’t wait to go back and visit again!
Have you ever been to Dublin? What was your favorite thing to do?
We were guests of The Irish House Party, the Jameson Distillery, and the Guinness Storehouse in conjunction with TBEX and Fáilte Ireland. As always, all opinions are our own.