If you like Guinness and craft beer this is definitely a place to visit. For over 100 years, The Open Gate Brewery has been an experiential brewery at St James’s Gate where Guinness brewers have explored their recipes. Now open to the public for the first time ever, visitors can try examples of experimental beers and brewers project beers created for other markets around the world, but not currently available in Ireland.
Located on Thomas Street, just past the famous St James’s black Gates, this brewery is open to the public on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5.30pm to 10.30pm via bookings in advance.
I got the chance to check it out recently following a tour of St James’s Gate by invitation from Diageo (handy when your sister owns a pub!) A couple of the brewers greeted us on arrival and shared information about the experimental brewery and their job. A lovely, enthusiastic bunch, it was obvious they were passionate about their work!
We sampled Guinness Nitro IPA, Milk Stout and Vienna Common Lager. My favourite was the Guinness Nitro IPA, full of flavour, yet very easy to drink. We were also treated to some gourmet snack food that complemented each beer and equally delicious.
After the tastings, I wanted to check out some more beers so I went for the Guinness Golden Ale. I found it quite sweet and a little fizzier than I expected, but happy I tried it. I’m not going to pretend to be a craft beer connoisseur and I like my Guinness so after that I stuck to the black stuff – no better place than at St James’s Gate!
All the staff were really friendly and answered questions about the beers and the brewery. (They also charged my iPhone). I asked if Guinness tasters really existed and I was told that up to 22 tasters come together every morning to do their work – mostly women too because apparently women taste things better!
The Open Gate Brewery is a great place to visit and good value too given its exclusivity. Tickets are €6 per person and include a beer tasting board. You can check availability and book your tickets here