This August the Guinness Storehouse officially unveiled The Tasting Rooms, designed by Bompas & Parr to be the best place to taste Guinness in the world. The series of chambers at the heart of the brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin will see 1.4 million visitors a year have a choreographed Guinness tasting experience. The spaces are designed to pedestal the taste of Guinness, the iconic beer with a bold and distinctive flavour that has thrived and prospered for over 250 years.
The Guinness Storehouse can lay claim to being the best place to drink Guinness as the original site of production, the source of global expertise on the best way to serve Guinness, and through The Tasting Rooms, a specially designed Guinness drinking environment developed by Bompas & Parr.
Bompas & Parr has worked with flavour scientists to define the environmental factors that serve to enhance taste perception. This research has been used to create an environment where the taste of Guinness is at the centre of every design decision, from the materials used in the Velvet Chamber, to positive air pressure in the rooms, to the animating ethos.
In the first space, The Fountain of Truth, four Flavour Fountains present the key tastes found in a Guinness. These were determined in consultation with Fergal Murray, the Guinness Master Brewer. The Flavour Fountains, which present mysteriously swirling vapours of beer, malt, roasted barley and hops, are world-first technical innovations. This is the first time that powerful humidification equipment has been modified to generate a scented output and run indefinitely.
In the subsequent tasting area, The Velvet Chamber, visitors learn the techniques to drink Guinness correctly. The design language is sensual and luxurious reinforcing the taste and textural aspects of the liquid. The chamber is futher decorated with architectural ornaments and motifs dawn from around the St. James’s Gate brewery and pedestals historic Guinness artifacts associated with taste. This includes the barley grains from Tuankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, which were excavated in the 1920s and sent to Guinness, the formost cereals experts, for dating and analysis. This will be the first time these grains have been displayed to all visitors to the Guinness Storehouse.
Catherine Keegan, Visitor Experience Manager at the Guinness Storehouse commented on the new development: “The unveiling of The Tasting Rooms here in the Guinness Storehouse marks an exciting development into the realms of experiential and sensory tasting innovation. We’re thrilled to be bringing such a unique and alternative experience to visitors from both Ireland and across the globe. This development further enhances the breadth of our offering which we’re proud to say makes the Guinness Storehouse Ireland’s no. 1 visitor attraction.”
Photography by Donal Murphy and Guinness Store House