March 1, 2012

BEST OF: Top Five Ways to Enjoy Guinness in Dublin

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In Ireland, Guinness is not merely a popular beverage or quintessential brand. It’s a way of life. Much can be determined from the way a man pours a Guinness and drinks it, revealing both the skill of the bartender and the reverence the drinker holds for alcoholic masterpiece.

Only eight weeks into my adventure here, I am nothing more than a foreign novice to the legacy of Arthur Guinness and his famed beverage, Guinness stout. That being said, I have indulged (responsibly) in my fair share of Guinness pints in my time in Dublin and found some way of enjoying Guinness to be too good not to pass onto fellow Cornellians.

1) Guinness Storehouse

In this former factory turned museum, you can learn about the history of Arthur Guinness and Guinness stout since 1759. The museum is full of multimedia presentations and artifacts that touch upon the brewing process, history, and advertising. The true gem in this experience, however, is the museum’s Gravity Bar where visitors can cash their tickets for a complimentary pint. On the storehouse’s top-floor, the bar offers breath-taking 360-degree views of the Greater Dublin Area.

2) Trad Bar: The Cobblestone

I stumbled upon The Cobblestone at the insistence of a new University friend, bartender, and lifetime Dubliner – Eoin O’Faolain (can you get more Irish than that?) – who will pour you a Guinness with a smile in a pub that features live trad music, a spacious beer garden, and refuses to buy a television. The nighttime crowd is colorful and lively, and we were chatted up by a few locals who insisted on echoing the same sentiment, “the Guinness is good.”

3) Temple Bar

Temple Bar is both a neighborhood and a bar. While it’s generally known as a place to find overpriced pints and inebriated tourists, no trip to Dublin would be complete without it. There are rooms full of international and Irish travelers looking to enjoy an evening of drinking and singing. If you don’t go for the company, go for the music. The Saturday in which I ventured on over included a three-piece Irish band playing bar music from “Galway Girl” to Johnny Cash, and a Quinn family favorite, “I’ll Tell Me Ma.” The crowd at Temple Bar is there to have a good time, and their enthusiasm alongside the live music creates a great atmosphere in which to enjoy a Guinness.

4) The Pavilion Bar at Trinity College (“The Pav”)

In the nighttime, when the campus appears quiet and the Rugby pitch has long been abandoned, the Pav’s lights are always on as an indication that the party is still going. The Pav is full of Trinity students and staff alike looking to unwind after a long day of academia, and, when the Dublin weather permits, hundreds of students take to the pitch and the balconies to enjoy pints in the sunshine. The best part: A student bar means less markup and more for good cheer.

5) Literary Pub Crawl

It may be the Irish writing nerd in me, but the Literary Pub crawl in Dublin is a must. Instead of tour guides, two Irish actors lead small groups around the City Centre to infamous pubs including The Duke and O’Neills. In addition to a bit of Irish history and culture, the tour guides recite monologues and act out scenes from seminal works such as Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. And there’s of course enough time to enjoy a drink at each stop.

Devon Quinn is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at dquinn@cornellsun.com. Notes From Abroad: Best Of appears on Fridays.

Original Author: Devon Quinn

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