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TourismIrelandGo beyond the gates of Guinness

October 2017

Ahhhh, the Black Stuff! Guinness is a fabled drink around the globe, sipped from Dublin to New York, Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. But it was born in Ireland’s Ancient East...


1. Where it all began

You would be forgiven for thinking that the story of Guinness begins with the legendary Dublin brewery at St James’ Gate. But the tale really starts in Celbridge, a pretty village in County Kildare. In the cellar of Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel, Arthur Guinness began to brew his tasty tipple back in the 18th century. Take the Arthur’s Way Heritage Trail to discover this location, and many others that have played their part in the legacy of Guinness. The trail passes through Leixlip, Celbridge, Hazelhatch and the Lyons Estate, before ending in Oughterard, at the final resting place of Arthur Guinness himself.

Castlebridge House

2. Inspiring an institution

In the 1950s Sir Hugh Beaver, managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went to a shooting party by the River Slaney in County Wexford. Over a lavish dinner in Castlebridge House, the party couldn’t decide what the fastest game bird in Europe was. The argument persisted for a long time – everyone had different opinions, and nobody could provide a definitive answer. Years later, Hugh would reflect on this argument and wonder why all of this information wasn't kept safe in one easy-to-access location – and thus, the idea for the Guinness Book of World Records was born! Since 1954, the book has been settling disputes and arguments in pubs, at dinner and around the world.

Lough Tay

3. Don't cry me a river - pour me a lake!

High in the Wicklow Mountains is a very unusual lake. Venture into the hills, make your way up the trails and through the mists, and you’ll discover a body of water seemingly poured directly from the taps of your favourite pub. Lough Tay, otherwise known as the Guinness Lake, has the curious feature of looking exactly like a pint of the black stuff. Dark waters and a sandy beach combine to make this look like a perfect pint that’s good enough to drink.


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