Housed in the heart of St James’s Gate, Dublin, the €42 million redevelopment of the 111-year-old former fermentation plant was the result of an ambitious plan to build a brand new ‘Home of Guinness’ where one in five visitors taste their first Guinness in the Storehouse.
The well-organised event saw over 600 people turn out to help Managing Director Paul Carty and his 150 staff celebrate 15 great years for the Storehouse.
In its first year, the Guinness Storehouse welcomed 650,000 visitors; 15 years later it has welcomed over 14 million visitors from 25 countries all over the world and was named ‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ in this year’s World Travel Awards in September with one in two holidaymakers to Dublin visiting the Storehouse.
“When we first opened, our target was to welcome one million visitors,” recalls Paul Carty who has headed up the Storehouse from day one, “I saw that as very far off in the distance and stretching things to say the least.
“Fast forward 15 years and we’re on track to welcome a record 1.4 million visitors this year.”
Ireland’s number one attraction unfolds its tale across seven floors shaped around a giant pint which, if filled, would contain 14.3 million pints of Guinness.
Guests were entertained by a jazz band who played along one of the (static) escalators while four drummers ascended and descended in the central atrium space suspended from wires attached to a pulley system which raised and lowered them through six floors to an appreciative audience.
Built in 1904, the Storehouse building was the first ‘skyscraper’ in the British Isles.
It’s now 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 artefacts.
For the 15th Anniversary tasting stations had been set up around the fifth floor offering guests a variety of flavours from sushi to roast beef hamburgers to an oyster bar while earlier in the creative evening finger food was passed round.
Beef & Guinness Stew has proved the most popular item on the daily menu at the Guinness Storehouse – 20,000 portions a year.
The Storehouse staff must have worked late into early the next morning to have everything cleared up for opening time when the Storehouse would once again be ready to greet tourists and locals alike – just another day for Europe’s most popular paying tourist attraction.
The Storehouse staff were super-accommodating and a credit to Paul Carty. If I was having a mad party like this, I’d want him to organise it.