Guinness brewers, executives and guests gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the new home of Guinness in America – the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Maryland.
“This brewery has long been a dream for Guinness, and an incredible amount of hard work has gone into getting these doors open,” said Diageo Beer Company USA Chairman and Diageo Global Chief Sales Officer Tom Day.
The first part of the brewery’s name takes inspiration from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin – where the company has experimented in beer for more than a century. The second part of the name, “Barrel House,” is a nod to the long history of Guinness brewers maturing beer in wood barrels, a tradition this new brewery intends to continue. In addition, the space was once home to a historic whiskey distillery, so the site already boasts a venerable heritage of barrel-aging.
Leveraging a pre-existing structure for the project, as opposed to starting from scratch with a green field development, was a priority for Guinness to maintain parent company Diageo’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Guinness has also implemented measures to reduce the overall electric consumption and water usage at the site, while utilizing recycled elements for the build, along with low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials and paints, to accent the building.
The Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House is the first Guinness brewing operation on U.S. soil in more than 60 years and is home to two custom-built brewhouses: a 10-barrel brewhouse and a 100-hectoliter brewhouse, both of which are set up to brew and ferment different styles. The 10-barrel system is the small-batch experimental brewery, while the 100-hectoliter system will initially brew Guinness Blonde for national distribution.
Led by Brewmaster Peter Wiens and Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson, the Maryland brewing team has already begun producing beers for the on-site taproom. While the majority of beers will be available exclusively in the taproom, a few brews will be rolling out nationally.
While many Guinness classic stouts, including Guinness Draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra Stout, will continue to be brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, guests can enjoy them responsibly alongside the new American innovation beers in the brewery’s taproom. The exact number of beers on tap will vary, but there will typically be more than 15 beers available at one time.
Upon opening to the public, the brewery will offer free self-guided tours, and later this summer will also begin to feature guided tours with beer tastings for $10. Taproom entry and access to the restaurant and outdoor grounds will be free of charge. Once guided tours begin, tickets will be available for purchase on site, but Guinness recommends buying them ahead of time at http://www.GuinnessBreweryBaltimore.com. At the outset, Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House operating hours will be Monday-Friday, 3-9 p.m. ET, and Saturday-Sunday, 12-9 p.m. ET.
To keep up to date with the latest news from the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, make sure to follow @GuinnessBreweryUS on Facebook and Instagram. Whether enjoying a pint at the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Maryland, at the Guinness Storehouse in Ireland or anywhere in between, please do so responsibly.