Does Guinness genuinely taste better in Ireland?

OK, it’s a slow Monday and I’m feeling slightly mischeivious.

I’ve never been to Ireland. Any part of it.

I’ve never rated Guinness Draught. I kinda always thought that I should have it in Dublin either in or close to the brewery.

And so many people have done that thing we all get, “oh you like beer, have you ever been to Dublin and drunk the Guinness” and when you say “no” they look at you like some kind of idiot. No, I explain, it’s just the Irish beer scene wasn’t that interesting and Belgium, Netherlands are closer. Now the Irish scene has picked up, I would consider a trip to Dublin as the flights are dirt cheap from Stansted.

So for those who have been, where will I get the best pint of draught Guinness in Dublin and then I’ll bloody rate it at last.

Best Guinness I had was in all the community pubs down the west coast of Ireland, chatting to the friendly locals and with folk musicians jamming together and playing anything you requested. I particularly remember Doolin for the Guinness, just tasted so much richer and more satisfying than normal.

Worst Guinness was in the crowded modern sky bar in the Guinness factory in Dublin, on the same tour. Tasted thin and metallic.

I’ve always wondered if they were all actually the same (after all, all keg, all in the same country in the same week) but the atmosphere in each place affected my perception.

Let us know how you get on…


I’ve only been to the Dublin airport on a layover on route to Edinburgh it was 6am local time but did drink a Guinness and it tasted good.

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I had a ‘Stout Off’ in Cork a few years ago.

There is/was a bar there that sold Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish; I lined up half-pints of each to taste the difference. Half way down each beer they all seemed to blend into each other and by the end I couldn’t tell which was which.

Never been to Dublin (or Belfast), but visiting both next year.


And that’s likely to be true for more ales than Irish stouts. The senses do tend to get fatigued. As for the best tasting Guinness, possibly the old pasteurized bottles with black lees in the bottom. Memory says the taste was great.

I definitely second this. I was hiking in Western Ireland for 7 days last year and every day was finished with a properly poured Guinness in a local pub of maybe about max 500 inhabitants. Atmosphere definitiely did its part but a greT nitro poured Guinness was lovely (compred what they pour as Guinness in german Irish pubs).

The guinness out of the Factory was some of the WORST guinness i ever had.

The best was in an old man drinking pub in Dublin (stella would also pick the same place).
Ive no idea why . It shouldnt vary should it.

This thread is comprehensive proof that environment/atmosphere plays a huge role in what we are tasting.

FWIW I never drink Guinness at home but always have at least a pint when I go to Ireland, it’s just one of those things that has to be done.

@wheresthepath nailed it with 100% precision, both best and worst.

When food and sport timetables overlap, I go to a local bar that does decent nosh and happily drink the guinness there, only one in five is a disappointment - so it does travel. But the best have indeed been in Ireland.

Like @BlackHaddock, we did a 3-way stout-off, and what was most pleasing was how the three people round the table not only expressed a preference (I was Beamish, I think), but could also articulate what aspects we preferrred. I suspect that they’re commoditising themselves over time, I’m not sure I’d expect differentiation a decade later.

Of course, we also did a 3-way stout off at Porterhouse, which was even better.

When Guinness was brewed in London, the stuff in Ireland was definitely better. Now of course we’re all drinking the same stuff. Some beers don’t travel well, but I can’t see how that could be the case with something brewed as clinically as Guinness and pasteurised. These days I so rarely drink it, it used to be my fall-back drink in pre-craft days when dragged to a non-ale pub by normal, but now practically everywhere has some sort of craft

FWIW in the late 90s/early 00s when I spent a lot of time in Ireland, in Dublin I generally went to Porter House and Messrs Maguire for their own beers, away from Dublin I always preferred Beamish to Guinness

I spoke to a guy who was the head brewer for Guiness Nigeria. He said it was quite simple. Guiness in Dublin, and much of Ireland, shifts so quickly it is almost always super fresh. He said one time there was a brewing fault in a batch of Guiness that left the factory. By the time they managed to track it down a day or so later it had all been sold. Can’t argue with the freshness thing. I don’t ever drink guiness, but the pint I had at the factory was pretty good.


It’s definitely a different beast when fresh (like all beer really) I personally find it quite acidic cutting through everything else but still enjoyable.
Fresh clean fermented beer tastes better than old beer it’s really that simple.

Guinness in the Republic is 0.1% higher abv than sold in UK/NI

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Didn’t notice a bit of difference here in Dublin. Side note: The Guinness self guided tour is the worst brewery tour I’ve ever went on.

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Shame you missed the A class era … Ned !

Was in an Irish pub in Brighton Kemptown o Saturday. The Guinness didn’t taste too bad. Best I’ve had in a while. I mean it had body and flavour.