We were briefed by Diageo to create a world class visitor experience within the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin - to bring the Guinness brewing process to life, for over a million visitors each year. We were to focus on the elements of the process that are unique to Guinness, which give the liquid it’s world renowned colour and taste. It needed to be a fun and interactive experience, appropriate for a wide variety of international visitors.
LOVE created an experience that allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the Guinness brewing process, their ingredients and the story behind the iconic black and white stout.
Using a combination of interactive exhibits, spatial and lighting design, along with new film footage and photography, LOVE designed a space which can be enjoyed by everyone: fun and immersive for the beer novice, with depth and discoverable facts and figures for beer aficionados.
The floor begins with an in-depth look at the Roasting process – arguably the most important stage. The Barley is roasted at exactly 232 degrees – any less and it doesn’t provide the necessary flavour and colour profile - any higher and the barley catches fire. The space was designed to include charred woods and amber lighting to reflect these searing temperatures; smells were created and pumped into the space to provide a sensory experience.
" It was a tough, complex brief and LOVE were superb - I really think they nailed it and delivered the concept to a world class standard. "Steven Kilcullen - Guinness’ Global Head of Brewing
The floor contained a variety of old pieces of machinery and mash vessels that have been used to make Guinness in years gone by. The new design utilised these assets and made features of them – with one of the mash vessels being opened up to house the next phase of the journey: an explanation around mashing, milling and the importance of hops.
A corridor of illuminated pipes leads us into Fermentation, the next stage of the process. As these pipes work their way along the corridor they mirror the path taken from the Brew House to the Fermentation plant, feeding into a series of light boxes, dials and gauges each explaining a different stage of the process. It's here we also learn of the iconic Guinness Yeast, a super yeast capable of producing a range of Guinness variants, and held under lock and key at St Jame’s gate. The pipes eventually feed into a large scale 4k video wall, where a super hi-definition animation showcases how the Guinness yeast turns sugars to alcohol, CO2 and intense flavours, all brought to life in CGI by Mainframe Digital and Zelig Sound.
Each pint of Guinness contains 30 million bubbles and gives Guinness its velvety smooth texture. This is achieved due to a process called Nitrogenation – famously developed by Michael Ash. To bring this to life LOVE created an immersive ‘be the bubble’ experience (again, within another Mash Vessel) whereby visitors can suddenly find themselves within a room of thousands of bubbles (an effect created using a specially developed system of 2 way mirrors and specialist lighting).
The floor finishes with an overview of the incredible numbers of quality checks and tests that ensure each pint of Guinness is as perfect as the last. This includes a huge clock, permanently set to 10am – the time, each day, that the Guinness testers taste the latest batch of Guinness before giving it their stamp of approval.