There are few things more Irish than Guinness. However, the iconic brand is about to get an American twist. On August 3, Guinness opened the Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House in Halethorpe, Maryland, its first U.S. brewery since the ’50s. It’s also the iconic brand’s first U.S. taproom.
On the surface, the move seems strange. Why Baltimore County? Why now? Why Guinness? Brewery Ambassador Ryan Wagner tells Thrillist a number of factors coalesced to make this the right time. First of all Diageo, Guinness’s parent company, owned a former Seagrams bottling plant on a 62-acre lot. Guinness is also looking to tap into the growing craft beer market in the US.
Bringing over a bunch of stouts isn’t necessarily likely to do that, but the brewery isn’t going to be like the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Wagner says. The stouts will still be produced in Dublin, though you’ll certainly find them on tap in Maryland. The new brewery is looking to make its own mark with beers brewed on-site that you can’t get anywhere else, including one-off experiments the team can test on its 10-barrel system. Additionally, the brewery is going to be barrel-aging beers, which makes sense considering Diageo’s portfolio of spirits. Most of the beers will only be available in the taproom, though some may be canned and distributed in the immediate area.
SOURCE: DUSTIN NELSON