An Irish Christmas

Since we had our fair share of bratwursts and mulled wine, we thought we’d culture ourselves and our stomachs with a different scene: Dublin. We arrived in Dublin late on the 22nd and had a relaxing night with wine and finger food at Bryan’s brother’s apartment. We had a big line up for the next day, so we made sure to get a decent sleep.

In the morning, like the retired athlete I am and the keen athlete Bryan is… we sauntered over to the gym and got our sweat on before a day of Guinness and Bulmers. Once ready and presentable to be in public, we ventured to St. Stephens Green via the Luas. Walking through Grafton area, we grabbed some food and saw some sites (Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Gate) on our way to the Guinness Storehouse for our Connoisseur Experience. We arrived two hours before our allocated tour time to see the 5-story museum. Each floor takes your through a process of Guinness: the brewing process, cooperage and transport, advertising, beer tasting and the famous 6th ingredient: Arthur Guinness. The museum was great and highly recommended for beer and non-beer lovers!

During the museum, there is a bar where you can learn to pour your own pint, however, you’ll be in a group of 20 and be rushed through it. The Connoisseur Experience takes you and a small group of maybe 12 to a small, hidden bar in the factory. The bar is fashioned with traditional chairs, paintings and decor. During the hour and a half spent in the bar, your Connoisseur (hopefully a cute Irish lad or gal, depending on your preference), will describe to you four different Guinness beers, ranging from the most well-known to the originals. He or she  will teach you how to properly sample the beer and tell you plenty of stories. Did You Know: Guinness supplies its workers with free home-cooked lunches everyday. Even when you are retired, you and your family are welcome for lunch every day. Pretty neat hey? Our experience ended with pouring our own perfect pint of Guinness, which we then took up the Gravity Bar to enjoy. So all in all, with our tour and history lesson of Guinness, we enjoyed a complimentary pint before our experience, 4 half pints of Guinness testers in the bar, 1 bottle of our favourite sampled Guinness beer to take home and another pint to pour and take to the gravity bar…. Needless to say, we had a wobbly exit.

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We capped the night off with a pub crawl around Dublin with Kevin, Steph and Spencer (a visiting Canuck from Halifax!) and other friends, all while sporting our Christmas jumpers. The Irish hospitality got the best of us I’d say haha.

Highlights up next: Christmas Day, a trip to Belfast to see more family friends and a trip to Galway! Hope everyone back home had a merry and white Christmas! xx

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