Today Guinness fan James Morrissey from New York is going to be the first person to stay overnight in the iconic Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse as part of Ireland’s first ever Airbnb ‘Night At’.
The competition ran in March, saw the seven-story visitor attraction listed as a residence on Airbnb’s website, offering one lucky beer fan and a friend the opportunity to be the first people to spend a night at the Home of Guinness.
To win this amazing night people were asked to answer the following question: ‘What makes you the world’s biggest Guinness fan?’ There was a massive response with over 40,000 entries from the globe, but James’ entry stood out among them all.
As James -or Jimmy, as he prefers- was arriving to his one of a kind AirBnB, we had the opportunity to talk to him about how this experience became a reality.
There’s no doubt he has a pint-shaped space for Guinness in his heart, and while he comes from New York, he proudly mentions his Irish heritage. When asked about his most memorable pint of Guinness to date, he recalled the first one that he had in the Island of Ireland.
“I went to Belfast, had just landed and went to this very old Victorian pub, it was the whole pack” he says, describing its cosy dark wood interiors and well preserved decor.
There was an overwhelming sense of coming home.”
Besides this trip, which took place about a decade ago, Jimmy points out that Guinness “was always there in the family, in good times and in bad”, from weddings, to funerals, always a familiar presence, so when he found out about the competition “via Twitter, on some article on the news”, Jimmy sat down to think.
I though about how Guinness is interwoven into the fabrics of life… Inspiration came quickly and naturally.”
“James’s passion and knowledge of Guinness and the Storehouse was evident from his entry and he captured the true character of St. James’s Gate which is filled with hundreds of years of history,” said Paul Carty, Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse. “We’re proud of Guinness’ heritage, and are delighted to welcome such a worthy and enthusiastic winner through the gates.”
The Gravity Bar was completely transformed for James and his wife Kaitlin. They will enjoy a VIP experience complete with a Guinness tasting bar and private butler. The room included a “perfect pint”-shaped bed, pool table, life-sized Jenga and giant telescope for a night under the stars.
Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys & Smirnoff, welcomed the couple upon their arrival and gave them the keys to the Guinness Storehouse. They will experience life behind the gates with rare access into the heart of the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery, the production site that has been home to the Guinness Brewery since 1759, when its owner Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years.
Guinness Archivist Eibhlin Colgan will tell the couple the rich story of the Guinness family heritage and take them on a historical journey of the brewery along 19th Century railway tracks and through hidden tunnels. The pair will get a full Guinness Storehouse experience with private tour topped off with a six-course dining experience, designed with Irish ingredients and Guinness pairings by Guinness Storehouse Executive Chef Justin O’Connor and served in the surroundings of the Gravity Bar.
Following the ‘Night at’ the Guinness Storehouse, James and Kaitlin will be treated to an Irish breakfast before meeting with Guinness Brewer, Peter Simpson, who will teach them how to create their very own Guinness brew.
Gravity Bar is Dublin’s highest bar and is the symbolic ‘Head of the Pint’. It has many amazing features including unparalleled panoramic, 360 degree views of the city from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Graham O’Donnell the renowned interior designer transformed the space into a luxury penthouse.
In 2016, the Guinness Storehouse welcomed 1.65 million visitors from around the world. The Storehouse building was once the brewery fermentation plant and is now a seven-story visitor experience, where visitors discover what goes into the making of each and every pint of Guinness, as well as learning about the notable brand history which stretches over 250 years.
More information guinness-storehouse.com