It's always a good day for a Guinness, and now, for the first time in over 60 years, it's the right time to open a brewery in the US. Nathan Rousseau Smith has the story.
The Dublin-based producer of the legendary, chocolate brown stout opens its doors near Guinness on August 3rd Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House Baltimore, the first US brewery that operates Guinness for more than 63 years
The new brewery will not import Guinness's most famous beers such as Guinness Draft Stout and Guinness Extra Stout But the Brewery in Relay, Maryland, southwest of Baltimore, will produce Guinness Blonde American Lager, currently produced by City Brewing of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Also on the barrel: experimental beers and barrel-aged beers.
The core of the brewery's mission is to make Guinness "a larger part of the American craft-beer industry, a place for innovation and creativity for Guinness in the States," said Ryan Wagner, Guinness Brand Ambassador on the Location Maryland.
The location is a convenient location for drafting beers – a trend long-established by American craft brewers, as the site originally served as the Maryland Distilling Company, opened in 1933, where Lord Calvert Whiskey was made  More: The latest beers are inspired by alcohol
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(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Guinness)
Guinness's parent company, global spirits giant Diageo, bought the location in 2001 when he bought it Seagramm. Diageo also owns Harper Beer, Johnny Walker, Tanqueray, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Don Julio and other spirits. The company was founded in 1997 through the merger of Guinness with Grand Metropolitan, which once owned Burger King and Pillsbury.
Guinness, founded in 1759 and announcing the new brewery in January 2017, brews beer in 499 countries, but has not owned a brewery in the US, since one in Long Island City, New York, from 1949-1954
His establishment of a US beer bridgehead to harness the momentum of craft beer differs in strategy from that of mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch. AB InBev's parent company has bought a portfolio of craft breweries over the past seven years, including Goose Island Beer Co., which has a large consumer base for its barrel-built Bourbon County stouts.
Lately, craft beers have continued to grow, rising by about 8% in 2017. Overall, small, independent breweries accounted for about 23% of the $ 111 billion US beer market.
Guinness – Opening of a US brewery is part of the strategy of larger breweries to attract consumers with location-based goals, including serving rooms, says Josh Noel, a beer writer at the Chicago Tribune and author of Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Marsh, Anheuser-Busch and How Craft Beer Became a Big Business .
"It's like the Craft Beer Revolution: Consumers no longer just want to drink anonymous brands off the shelf. They want an experience," said Noel. "Guinness and Diageo understand it, Guinness is obviously a very important brand in the US, but there can not be Guinness everywhere, there must be a Guinness experience."
Photos of the Guinness Factory near Baltimore, Md. On June 27, 2018. (Photo: Larry French, Getty Images for Guinness)
The brewery team at the new Guinness site is already brewing beer and maturing some beers in barrels. Popular Guinness beers, some of which are shipped from Ireland, are already in The Taproom, which Guinness opened in October at the Maryland Brewery.
There are also experimental beers such as Latte or Coffee Stout, Cherry Stout, India Pale Ale, Rye Pale Ale, American Wheat Beer and a barrel-aged Belgian stout.
Inside the brewery is a larger taproom, where visitors can taste the beers and take guided or self-guided walks. The experimental beers that best suit consumers can become regional or national beers, says Wagner. "We will look for the beers that are successful in the taproom that we think will be able to scale up," he said.
The cost of the project, which includes a packaging and warehouse operation, is approximately $ 80 million. Guinness will employ 200 people at the site, including a 270-seat restaurant, which is expected to open in August. Also on site: a still developing outdoor event hall.
Guinness brewers at the new site have admirable family trees: Brewmaster Peter Wiens helped Stone Brewing Co., founded his Richmond, Virginia brewery; Hollie Stephenson, who had worked with Vienna before becoming head brewer at Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina; and Sean Brennan, who had been head of production at Northern United Brewing Co. of Dexter, Michigan.
Despite the talent of the Guinness brewers in Dublin, "the brewers here in the States push envelopes farther and faster than just any industry," said Wagner. "If you're trying to be part of the American craft beer industry, it's hard to do away from an ocean."
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