U.S. fans of Guinness won't have to travel to Dublin to indulge in a tour and tasting experience of one of the most recognizable brands in the beer industry. Makers of the beer toasted the opening of the $90 million Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House Aug. 3 near Baltimore, its first U.S. brewery in more than 60 years.
Located in Relay, Maryland, 10 miles from downtown Baltimore, the attraction is expected to host 300,000 visitors a year to its gift shop, brew house, taproom and restaurant, which opens later this month. Guinness Open Gate sits on a 62-acre property where parent company Diageo, the world's largest drinks maker, had owned the property since 2001.
After nine months of construction involving 2,250 workers, it was exciting to see the project come to life, says Tom Day, chairman of Diageo Beer Company USA.
"It took an army of people to build. It's one of the proudest moments of my life," Day says.
The taproom's 16 beers, most of which are brewed at the site, include Guinness IPA and Crosslands Pale Ale, made with Maryland-grown malted barley and hops. Visitors can tour the site on their own for now, perusing exhibits that highlight the beer-making process and Guinness history, until guided tours become available by Labor Day.