Greatest job. Ever. Colm Tóibin goes in search of the greatest drink (or food) ever created.
In Dublin, one simply has open the front door to be reminded of the importance of the Guinness brewery in the life of the city. I live in the center of Dublin and if I want to get to Grafton Street, the main shopping street, I have to cross St. Stephen’s Green, a beautiful park that was donated to the city by Sir Arthur Guinness in 1880. One of the most splendid buildings which overlooks the park is Iveagh House, where the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is housed; this was donated to the Irish state by Rupert Guinness in 1939. Behind this building are the Iveagh Gardens, donated in 1908 to the city by another member of the Guinness family, Lord Iveagh. And if you walk out of St. Stephen’s Green along Cuffe Street and Kevin Street, you come to a group of architectural gems from the early years of the 20th century, built in brick by the Guinness family and also donated to the city—the Iveagh Buildings, a block of apartments to be used by the less well-off; the Iveagh Baths, where once the poor could scrub themselves clean, now contain a fitness center and swimming pool; the Iveagh Hostel, for down-and-outs; and the Iveagh Market, which, until a decade ago, did a thriving trade in secondhand goods and now awaits refurbishment. If you walk around this area, close to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, soon the smell of the Guinness Brewery, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, comes wafting from James’s Street. And if you walk those cobbled streets around the brewery, taking in the wonderful smell, you are almost in a medieval city, a labyrinth of trade commercial production so rare in a country which does not have a Victorian industrial base. – From WSJ