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Visiting the Guinness Storehouse

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Pouring the Perfect Pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse

What takes 119.5 seconds?

Pouring the Perfect Pint of Draught Guinness, that’s what.

How do we know this?

Because we just received our signed certificate from the master brewers at the Guinness Storehouse for pouring that very pint.

119.5 seconds Pouring the Perfect Pint of Guinness Beer at the Guinness Storehouse

119.5 Seconds to Pour the Perfect Pint of Guinness

Keeping that figure in mind it may come as a surprise to learn that bartenders around the world spend nearly 1.2 billion seconds (331,944 hours) pouring pints of Guinness Stout EVERY DAY! 

That equates to the enjoyment of 10 million pints around the world with over 1 million of those consumed in the UK alone. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

The Guinness Storehouse continues to draw a million visitors every year as one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions.It’s important to note, as Kevin our excellent tour guide pointed out, tourists are not allowed access to the actual factory as they don’t want to run the risk of someone contaminating the brewing process. Considering they produce 3 million pints per day it’s fair enough.

I think that the reason the Storehouse continues to be so popular is that Guinness has created an experience rather than a traditional tour and to begin your experience you enter the worlds largest pint glass which rises up through the 7 storey building.

Filled it would hold 14.3 million pints. Just be careful that as you look up don’t stand on the 9,000 year old lease that Arthur Guinness signed on New Years Eve in 1759 to secure the St James Brewery.

Making your way through the various rooms you interact with the four natural ingredients: hops, barley, water and yeast. By combining these the master brewers produce that well known dark drop that you either love or hate. Much like marmite which unsurprisingly tastes similar on my undeveloped pallet.

Now is the time to try what may be your first ever Guinness with a small glass on offer to whet the appetite. Our guide taught us that you have to use all your senses when trying Guinness:

  • First you LISTEN to the Guinness being poured with the nitrogen producing that creamy head;
  • You TOUCH the glass to make sure it is at an optimum temperature of 6 – 7 degrees Celsius;
  • Check the colour is a dark red (not actually black) by holding the pint up and taking a LOOK;
  • Swirling the glass allows you to SMELL the aromas of the beer; and
  • Finally TASTE the Guinness.

Wiping the Guinness Mo from your face it’s time to giggle at the amusing array of adverts over the last 80 years.

The fourth floor is where you have the option to become a bartender and pour your very own perfect pint. There was a bit of a queue but it is a fun environment and a nice break if you want to rest those weary feet.

The first part of the pour releases the nitrogen and fills the pint 3/4’s to the top by pulling the handle towards you. Waiting for the bubbles to subside allows the dark colour and beautiful foam head to become prominent. By pushing the handle away from you it allows the final half inch to be filled to the perfect level.

Sunset View from Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar

Sunset View from Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar

Certificate in hand your final stop will leave you at the Gravity Bar. It is the highest point in Dublin and provides spectacular views across the city. We made it up just as the sun set and it was fantastic.

If you are still inclined, as we were, then grab yourself a pint. Sit back, relax and enjoy your Guinness for a few minutes (or hours).

The practical information:

The Guinness Storehouse is located just south of the stinking brown River Liffey and is easily accessible on foot, by car (with free parking) and via the local bus and tram system.

For just €13 each (if you book online) you not only have the freedom to explore the 7 Storehouse but also enjoy a free pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar overlooking the beautiful city of Dublin. Alternatively you can try your hand at pouring the perfect pint and then toast your success afterwards. Really good value considering just 1 drink costs €5 anywhere in the Temple Bar area.

Disclaimer: The Guinness Storehouse was kind enough to offer us a complimentary tour. However as always, the views and opinions expressed on this site are purely our own. 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Stephen

    November 29, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Nice enjoying that pint with the views from the Gravity Bar.

  2. Sam

    November 30, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Congratulations! Nothing better than a well poured Guinness when you need it.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Its even better when we pour it ourselves. I swear that Guinness tastes better at the Storehouse as well but the guide assured me it was the same everywhere.

  3. Barbara - The Dropout Diaries

    November 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    I tried Guinness for the first time in London. I thought the bartender had just lost interest in pouring my drink and wandered off midway through the process. Boy, did I feel like a dill when I complained about the lazy two-step pourer to some real Brits.
    Ah well, I like Kilkenny better. Guinness just tastes like Vegemite gone wrong.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 30, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      Haha most bartenders won’t leave it for the correct amount of time either so just be glad this one did. Would have made it taste nicer for sure. Just imagine how long you have to wait at the bar on St Patrick’s Day when everyone drinks Guinness! Truth be told we never knew it was a 2 step process either!
      By the way, Vegemite is gross and Marmite is way better haha 😉

  4. Laurel

    November 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    I don’t like Guinness (maybe because I haven’t tuned in all my senses when I tasted it 🙂 but a tour to the Guinness storehouse sounds really interesting and something I would definitely do when I’m in Ireland.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      Definitely didn’t use all 5 of your senses! Adela is not a big fan of Guinness either but I think by just being there you maybe enjoy it more? We seemed to think so. In saying that, I would never drink more than 2 – 3 pints I think.

  5. Jarmo

    November 30, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Oh, now I do want a pint of Guiness; I can’t remember when I last had one, probably a year ago in London. But I’d really like to have one in Dublin (haven’t been yet) as they say it tastes better there

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

      We thought it tasted better but were assured that its the same everywhere. But that is a matter of opinion I guess. Just like any beer I would rather have a bottle over a can. Did you know they have a little ball inside the Guinness cans as well to produce the nitrogen to add to the flavour! Makes a good musical instrument after you are done haha.

  6. Nomadic Samuel

    November 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    1.2 billion seconds! WOW!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM

      I know! Absolute madness. Have you ever tried Guinness Samuel? I think the 119.5 seconds really does make a difference because any other pub usually just pours it and lets it sit for only a few seconds. Much tastier when it sits the entire time in my humble opinion.

  7. Sherry

    December 1, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    Sounds like a fun way to spend some time. Although I prefer a lighter beer, but who can pass on a Guinness? Congratulations on your “certification,” by the way.That’s an achievement I’d like to make someday, too!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 1, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      Haha it wasn’t the hardest certificate to get and I am not sure that if I showed up at a bar with it they would let me pour my own beers! I have never really liked Guinness until I went to Dublin maybe it was just nicer there like everyone says. Usually prefer something else but wouldn’t say no to a Guinness now if someone offered me one although probably wouldn’t say no to any free beer :).

  8. Erin

    December 1, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    I don’t like Guinness (or beer at all, I know I’m not a real Brit) but I love seeing behind the scenes at how drinks are made. Sounds really interesting.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      December 1, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      Have you been to Oktoberfest? You should definitely go because it will be some of the nicest beer you have ever tried (might just change your mind). Been to 2 breweries now and the Guinness Storehouse was awesome. Hopefully you get a chance if you ever visit Dublin.

  9. Monika

    November 18, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    Wow, what a great blog! Honestly, I did not know much about Guinness storehouse. Thanks for sharing this amazing work with us!

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Europe

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Europe

Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

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Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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