Guinness Brewery in Dublin

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

St. James’s Gate Brewery (Irish: Grudlann Gheata Naomh Seamuis) is a brewery founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness. The company is now a part of Diageo, a company formed from the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. The main product of the brewery is Guinness Draught.

Originally leased in 1759 to Arthur Guinness at £45 per year for 9,000 years, St. James’s Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and the largest in the world by 1886, with an annual output of 1.2 million barrels. Although no longer the largest brewery in the world, it is still the largest brewer of stout in the world. The company has since bought out the originally leased property, and during the 19th and early 20th centuries the brewery owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area, including many streets of housing for brewery employees, and offices associated with the brewery. The brewery also made all of its own power using its own power plant.

There is an attached exhibition on the 250-year-old history of Guinness, called the Guinness Storehouse.

The main product is Guinness Draught, a 4.2% abv dry stout that is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide. For many years a portion of the drink was aged to give a sharp lactic flavour, although Guinness has refused to confirm whether this still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad and, in spite of a decline in consumption over recent years, is the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes almost €2 billion annually. The brewery also produces Guinness Original, a 4.3% abv version of the Draught, without the nitrogen; Kaliber, a low alcohol pale lager; Guinness Bitter, a 4.4% bitter sold in a can with a widget; and the 7.5% Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

St. James’ Gate in Dublin was traditionally a main starting point for Irish pilgrims to begin their journey on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). The pilgrims’ passports were stamped here before setting sail, usually for A Coruña, north of Santiago. It is still possible for Irish pilgrims to get these traditional documents stamped at St James’ Church, and many do, while on their way to Santiago de Compostella.

The Guinness Storehouse was erected between 1902 and 1904. It was built by Arthur Guinness Son & Co. Ltd for use as a fermentation house. Fermentation is the last stage of the brewing process where yeast is added to the boiled mixture of barley, water, hops and allowed to ferment.

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Old tools on the little window

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Old tools on the little window at Locke’s Distillery, Kilbeggan, Westmeath, Midlands, Ireland.

Outside the window, we can see the 19th-century waterwheel that provides power to the equipment needed to make the traditional Irish whiskey.

John Locke’s distillery at Kilbeggan in County Westmeath is a working industrial heritage museum set up and run by local volunteers of the Kilbeggan Preservation and Development Association Ltd since 1982. In 1987 the site was bought by Cooley’s Distillery and in 2010 also secured the lease for the visitor’s centre there. To celebrate their one-millionth visitor, Locke’s Distillery Museum held a free open-day on 10th September 2011 which was well attended and a great success. Incidentally, the one-millionth visitor came from Germany.

Locke’s Distillery produces pure Pot Still Irish whiskey as well as having some 40,000 sq. ft. of storage space at Kilbeggan, also used for the storage and maturation of whiskey produced by Cooleys. Kilbeggan is also unique in having a 180 year old licensed pot still with a capacity to produce 25,000 cases a year of pot-still whiskey, most of it going to export. Since 2010 Kilbeggan distillery has also introduced its own full milling, mashing, fermentation and distillation processes carried out using more traditional methods. (Information taken from Wikipedia and “Kilbeggan, out & about” by Stuart).

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Steam engine flywheel at Locke’s Distillery

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Steam engine flywheel at Locke’s Distillery, Kilbeggan, Westmeath, Midlands, Ireland.

A 19th-century waterwheel provides power to the equipment needed to make the traditional Irish whiskey. Nevertheless a steam engine was also installed to provide a back-up power source, in case of low water levels in the river Brosna, but has rarely been used.

John Locke’s distillery at Kilbeggan in County Westmeath is a working industrial heritage museum set up and run by local volunteers of the Kilbeggan Preservation and Development Association Ltd since 1982. In 1987 the site was bought by Cooley’s Distillery and in 2010 also secured the lease for the visitor’s centre there. To celebrate their one-millionth visitor, Locke’s Distillery Museum held a free open-day on 10th September 2011 which was well attended and a great success. Incidentally, the one-millionth visitor came from Germany.

Locke’s Distillery produces pure Pot Still Irish whiskey as well as having some 40,000 sq. ft. of storage space at Kilbeggan, also used for the storage and maturation of whiskey produced by Cooleys. Kilbeggan is also unique in having a 180 year old licensed pot still with a capacity to produce 25,000 cases a year of pot-still whiskey, most of it going to export. Since 2010 Kilbeggan distillery has also introduced its own full milling, mashing, fermentation and distillation processes carried out using more traditional methods.

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Copper Pot Stills And Column Still At Lockes Distillery BW

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Two of three copper pot stills at Locke’s Distillery, Kilbeggan, Westmeath, Midlands, Ireland, which were installed in the late 1970s. These were recovered from the Tullamore Dew Distillery before it was demolished in 1990 to make way for a shopping mall and carpark. Originally, there were four similar copper stills at Locke’s but sadly these were broken up for scrap in 1974 during which time the old distillery also lost some other internal fittings and equipment. Fortunately, most remained and ensured the authenticity of the place as a working industrial museum.

The copper stills similar to the originals once at Locke’s in Kilbeggan, were produced by Millars & Co Ltd of Church Street, Dublin.

A column still, also called a continuous still, patent still or Coffey still, is a variety of still consisting of two columns.

The first column (called the analyzer) in a column still has steam rising and wash descending through several levels. The second column (called the rectifier) carries the alcohol from the wash, where it circulates until it can condense at the required strength.

Column stills behave like a series of single pot stills, formed in a long vertical tube. The tube is filled with either porous packing or bubble plates. The rising vapour, which is low in alcohol, starts to condense in the cooler, higher level of the column. The temperature of each successively higher stage is slightly lower than the previous stage, so the vapour in equilibrium with the liquid at each stage is progressively more enriched with alcohol. Whereas a single pot still charged with wine might yield a vapour enriched to 40-50% alcohol, a column still can achieve a vapour alcohol content of 96%; an azeotropic mixture of alcohol and water. Further enrichment is only possible by absorbing the remaining water using other means, such as hydrophilic chemicals or azeotropic distillation.

A column still is an example of a fractional distillation, in that it yields a narrow fraction of the distillable components. This technique is frequently employed in chemical synthesis; in this case, the component of the still responsible for the separation is a fractionating column.

A continuous still can, as its name suggests, sustain a constant process of distillation. This, along with the ability to produce a higher concentration of alcohol in the final distillate, is its main advantage over a pot still, which can only work in batches. Continuous stills are charged with preheated feed liquor at some point in the column. Heat (usually in the form of steam) is supplied to the base of the column. Stripped (approximately alcohol-free) liquid is drawn off at the base, while alcoholic spirits are condensed after migrating to the top of the column.

Column stills are frequently used in the production of grain whisky and is the most commonly used type of still in the production of Bourbon and other American whiskeys. Distillation by column still is the traditional method for production of Armagnac, although distillation by pot still is allowed. The use of column stills for the distillation of Cognac is forbidden. Distillation by column stills are permitted for Calvados AOC and Calvados Domfrontais. Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC is required to be distilled by pot still.

John Locke’s distillery at Kilbeggan in County Westmeath is a working industrial heritage museum set up and run by local volunteers of the Kilbeggan Preservation and Development Association Ltd since 1982. In 1987 the site was bought by Cooley’s Distillery and in 2010 also secured the lease for the visitor’s centre there. To celebrate their one-millionth visitor, Locke’s Distillery Museum held a free open-day on 10th September 2011 which was well attended and a great success. Incidentally, the one-millionth visitor came from Germany.

Locke’s Distillery produces pure Pot Still Irish whiskey as well as having some 40,000 sq. ft. of storage space at Kilbeggan, also used for the storage and maturation of whiskey produced by Cooleys. Kilbeggan is also unique in having a 180 year old licensed pot still with a capacity to produce 25,000 cases a year of pot-still whiskey, most of it going to export. Since 2010 Kilbeggan distillery has also introduced its own full milling, mashing, fermentation and distillation processes carried out using more traditional methods.

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Cable car barn in San Francisco

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Sheaves and mechanism that actually run the cable system of Cable-Car under San Francisco streets. Cable Car Barn and Museum. San Francisco, California, USA. 

The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, California, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or “Muni” as it is better known. Of the twenty-three lines established between 1873 and 1890,three remain (one of which combines parts of two earlier lines): two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, the vast majority of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists. They are among the most significant tourist attractions in the city, along with Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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