Friday, April 9, 2010

#21 Guinness, Guinness and more Guinness

As strange as it may seem to someone in the United States, the number one tourist attraction in all of Ireland is a brewery.  Of course, this isn't just any brewery, it is the famous Guinness Brewery, and the Guinness Storehouse (as it is called) is high on my list of places to go before I die.

The fact that it is in Ireland is reason enough.  The fact that it is a brewery is enough reason for me to want to visit.  The Guinness Storehouse rises high on the list apart from these reasons.  Its storied history is the reason a stop at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin is in order.

The founder Arthur Guinness heard a sermon from John Wesley one Sunday, and it became inspiration for his life's work.  As Wesley often enjoined people "Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.  Your wealth is evidence of a calling from God, so use your abundance for the good of mankind."  Arthur Guinness went on to practice this command of Wesley's.

He gave large sums to the poor, and helped found Sunday Schools.  This same ethic was passed on to the generations of Guinness family members who took over the company.  During World War II sent every British soldier a can of Guinness with his Christmas meal.

In the late 18th century when the polluted city water was dangerous for one's health, and the country was in a Gin Craze it was the drinking of Guinness which helped stem the tide of sickness and of severe alcoholism.

You'll need a car to get around Ireland, and can find a great deal at this Dublin airport car hire.  Perhaps we'll meet at the Saint James's Gate Brewery.  Its on my bucket list.  Is it on yours?

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