Today marks 15 years since the Guinness Storehouse first opened its doors to the public. Housed in the heart of St. James’s Gate, Dublin, the €42 million redevelopment of the 113-year-old former fermentation plant is the result of an ambitious plan to build a brand new “Home of Guinness.”
The Guinness Storehouse proudly welcomed 650,000 visitors in its first year. Fifteen years later it has welcomed over 14 million visitors from 25 countries and is now acknowledged as an iconic brand in its own right, having been named ‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ in the World Travel Awards in September 2015.
To celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the Guinness Storehouse here are some facts and figures about Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.
- Built in 1904, the Storehouse building was originally a fermentation plant – the place where yeast was added to the brew – and was the first skyscraper in the British Isles
- In 2000 US President Bill Clinton was one of the first in a long line of famous people to visit the Guinness Storehouse.
- By 2001 the Guinness Storehouse was named Ireland’s Number One International Visitor Attraction by Fáilte Ireland.
- In 2006, the Guinness Storehouse joined the world to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with its inaugural St. Patrick’s Festival.
- Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II visited Ireland in 2011 and paid a visit to the Guinness Storehouse.
- By 2012 the Guinness Storehouse had welcomed over 10 million visitors.
- The Guinness Storehouse is home to the Guinness Archive, which contains over 7,500 linear meters of paper records, over 2,500 press and poster advertisements, 20,000 individual personnel files and over 5,000 artifacts.
- The Guinness Storehouse welcomed Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise in 2013.
- In September 2015 the Guinness Storehouse was named ‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ in the World Travel Awards.
- 20% of visitors taste their first Guinness in the Storehouse.
- 35% of visitors each year learn how to pour a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Academy in the Guinness Storehouse.
- Beef and Guinness stew is the most popular item on the menu at the Guinness Storehouse restaurants with 20,000 portions served each year.
Here’s the recipe: Chef’s favorite Guinness and beef stew
- The Guinness Storehouse is home to the Gravity Bar, the highest bar in Dublin.
- Half of all holiday-makers in Dublin visit the Guinness Storehouse.
Reminiscing on years of success, Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse Paul Carty, who has headed up the Guinness Storehouse from day one said, “When we first opened, our target was to welcome one million visitors. I saw that as very far off in the distance and stretching things to say the least.”
He continued, “Fast forward 15 years and we are on track to welcome a record 1.4 million visitors this year, totaling over 14 million since opening. Our first 15 years have been truly amazing with many highlights, but winning the title of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards in September is a particularly special one. We have invested continually in our offering to ensure visitors have an unforgettable experience at the ‘Home of Guinness’ and we are excited about the future.”
The Guinness Storehouse tells the story of one of Ireland’s most iconic brands, Guinness.
Visitors discover what goes into the making of each and every pint, and learn about the incredible brand history stretching over 250 years. Ireland’s number one attraction reveals its tale across seven floors shaped around a giant pint, which, if filled would contain 14.3 million pints of Guinness.
The highlight for many visitors is the Gravity Bar, symbolically the ‘Head of the Pint,” where visitors can enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of Dublin city – with a complimentary pint in hand.
Among the 14 million people to visit Guinness Storehouse over the past 15 years are some of the most recognizable celebrities in the world of show business such as Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, Dermot O’Leary, Adam Sandler, Pink, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Conan O’Brien, The Coronas, The Script, and Chris O’Dowd.