Recently we travelled with a group of wonderful clients/friends to the Emerald Isle – Ireland. Ireland is the land of shamrocks and leprechauns. With beautiful green vistas that go on forever. Pubs brimming with friendliness and good craic, where every Guinness is poured with time (optimum 119.5 seconds!) and respect.
One of our first stops in Dublin was at the legendary St. James Gate location of Guinness Brewing. Arthur Guinness was a busy man, he had a total of 21 children ( only 10 of whom lived to adulthood) with his even busier wife Olivia. Being a bit of an entrepreneur, around 30 years of age in 1755 Arthur leased his first brewery in County Kildare. Five years later he left his younger brother in charge and moved on to another brewery in St. James Gate, Dublin for which he signed a 9000 year lease! The lease still has another 8745 years to go so no worries about running out of Guinness beer anytime soon. Initially he produced other ales, but seeing the success of imported porter from England, he completely switched to producing this popular style by 1799. He even reversed the flow of the beer trade at the time sending exports from Ireland to England. Guinness beer became so well-known that in 1815, wounded officers at the Battle of Waterloo were calling for it by name.
While Arthur Guinness was busy building a beer empire, a man named John Jameson took a different route to success when he established the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin in 1780. Jameson was a Scottish businessman and at the time he acquired the distillery it was producing about 30,000 gallons annually. By the turn of the 19th century, it was one of the largest producers in the world putting out over 1,000,0000 gallons. Jameson whisky is no longer distilled at the Dublin location and is now made in Cork. Still the site in Dublin is well worth a stop to take the tour and have a taste of Irish history.
We finished the day with even more good craic at the Abbey Tavern. If you are not familiar with the term, “craic” (pronounced crack) is used to describe great fun, entertainment and enjoyable conversation – particularly as it relates to Irish pubs. We had great craic everywhere we went in Ireland – and will show you more of our recent travels very soon.
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