Guinness Storehouse ☘️ Building Irish History
In early 2019, the Guinness Storehouse welcomed its 20 millionth visitor to its brewing facility. The average number of visitors to the Guinness Storehouse building is 1.7 million per year since their tourist center opened. Many wander through the storehouse's incredible architecture learning about the events that formed the mega-brand Guinness and sipping the famous porter. Few people understand the monumental history of the Guinness Storehouse building to Ireland and the Irish culture.
Start at the St. James Gate
The St. James Gate in west Dublin marks the place in the Middle Ages where pilgrims would walk the path of St. James to pay homage. Commonly referred to as the Camino pilgrimage (Way of St. James) from Dublin to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the St. James Gate became a local gathering place for Christian festivals and observances. The influx of people created a demand for supplies and merchants started to build around the area. Around 1670, Alderman Giles Mee established the St. James Gate Brewery in this location to take advantage of the river nearby. The brewery passed through several family members over the next 50 years until Captain Paul Espinasse took a lease on it in 1715. Captain Paul Espinasse decided to demolish the original Medieval gate in 1734 to make more room for the brewery. Upon his death in 1750, the St. James Gate Brewery reverted back to the living family member of Giles Mee - Mark Rainsford.
History of the Guinness Storehouse
The St. James Gate Brewery stayed on the market for many years. On New Year's Eve of 1759, it was leased to Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years at £45 per year (approximately $63). When Guinness took over the St. James Brewery, it consisted of four acres with a mill, two malthouses, stables, and a loft for hay. The St. James Gate was rebuilt in the early 1900s when the brewery underwent a massive renovation. In early 2000, the St James Brewery was turned into the Guinness Storehouse which welcomes visitors from all over the world.
"The exhibition takes place over seven floors in the shape of a 14 million pint glass of Guinness. The ground floor introduces the beer's four ingredients (water, barley, hops, and yeast), and the brewery's founder, Arthur Guinness. Other floors feature the history of Guinness advertising and include an interactive exhibit on responsible drinking. The final floor is the Gravity Bar, which has an almost 360° panorama over the city, where visitors can claim a pint of "the black stuff." (source)
Guinness Storehouse - More Than a Building
Guinness was among the first Irish companies to realize that taking care of employees is vital to success. Offering employees benefits - like meals, free beer, housing, and healthcare - meant Guinness needed to keep detailed records. These records are now historical documentation available to family members of Guinness employees to walk through the past.
"Guinness Archive has preserved records and artifacts, dating from 1759, including photos, and 20,000 individual personnel records of past employees giving a glimpse into the history of St. James's Gate and Guinness's staff." (source)
Learn more about the history of St. James Gate and the transformation to the Guinness Storehouse. Wasting time chasing building information? PocketBuildings makes it ridiculously easy to organize and share your building information to help you develop, manage, and transact faster. Claim your free building today!