Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ireland: Can beer be boring?

In a word, yes.

Guinness Storehouse is the country's No. 1 tourist attraction. Makes sense, given that the 250-year-old brewery consumes 2/3 of the nation's annual barley crop and that some 4 million Guinness pints per day are consumed in Ireland alone.

What doesn't make sense is why so many people wait in line to plop down 14 euros ... that's $21 ... for an incredibly boring self-guided tour.

Yup, it's slick and hi-tech and very, very big....and really really boring. (Even The Husband, who has an affection for both beer and involved technical processes, found it a yawn.)

You will be bogged down in so much detail that you'll miss interesting tidbits like the fact that Guinness once had to build it's own railway to transport the vast quantities of stout required around Ireland.

The best part of the tour is the Gravity Bar on the visitor center's top floor, where you get a free ice-cold pint and 360 views of Dublin.

My advice: Save yourself the time and money. Stop in, get the T-shirt (the shop is before the ticket booth), then wander over to Temple Bar for a pint and some live music. You'll have a better time.

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