From the signing of a 9,000-year lease for a brewery on – what was then – the outskirts of Dublin, to a 62-acre facility more than 3,000 miles away in Baltimore, the last 260 years have been nothing short of historic for Guinness. On August 3rd, the storied Irish brewer will celebrate the first anniversary of its Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, which serves as the home of Guinness in the U.S. and the center for all of its experimental beers on this side of the Atlantic.
While the Dublin-brewed classics – like Guinness Draught – are always available at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, what’s been most special in year one is the more than 80 unique beers that have already been brewed at the new brewery. From a recurring series of favorites, including Guinness IPA, Guinness Milk Stout, Guinness White Ale, and Guinness Blonde – which became the first beer to be available nationally from the brewery last summer – to more limited releases like Nitro Vanilla Cream Ale, Orange and Hibiscus Belgian Ale, Raspberry Kettle Sour, and Belgian Style Apricot Pale Ale, there truly is something for all legal drinking age adults.
Located just 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore and short trips from Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York, the Open Gate Brewery welcomed more than 400,000 visitors in its first year. Although about 65% of those visitors are local to Maryland, each of the 50 states (and beyond) have been represented by guests since last year’s August 3rd opening. The impact that the brewery has had on Maryland goes well beyond visitors, as more than 200 permanent, full-time employees from the surrounding area now work at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery.
“When we started working towards opening the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, we knew we were building something significant that would mean so much to millions of people around the world,” said Nuno Teles, President, Diageo Beer Company USA. “What we couldn’t fully predict is what being a part of the Maryland brewing scene would feel like. It’s widely accepted that the U.S. overall is the most dynamic beer market in the world, but the breweries in Baltimore, and Maryland as a whole, have created such a supportive and inclusive environment. Each day we’re more and more grateful to be here.”
A number of celebratory activities and daily live music will also be available at the brewery in the week leading up to the anniversary, including a special beer dinner on Wednesday, July 31st and a cornhole tournament with prizes on Friday, August 2nd. On the official day of the anniversary, Saturday, August 3rd, country superstar Frankie Ballard will headline a free concert at 7:30pm EDT. Local confectionary legend, Charm City Cakes, will also be providing a special Guinness cake and thousands of cupcakes for the party.
In addition to all of the planned festivities, the brewing team has been working on a special beer to mark the milestone: First Anniversary Barrel-Aged Grand Cru. Available exclusively at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery on tap and in 12oz. cans for takeaway, this 10.5% ABV release is a blend of an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and a Belgian-style Golden Ale aged in rum barrels.
“Historically, the Grand Cru was often brewed and blended to mark special occasions, so it felt like an appropriate style for our anniversary,” said Hollie Stephenson, Head Brewer at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery. “We’ve felt so much support from the community in this first year, and we’re so appreciative that they’ve allowed us to experiment with unexpected beer styles and expand what Guinness means to beer drinkers in Maryland and across the country. We carefully blended this Grand Cru using bourbon barrel aged stout and a rum barrel aged Belgian-style golden ale to embody that experimentation, and as a thank you to our supporters and community.”
For updates on the anniversary celebration and more from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, follow @GuinnessBreweryUS on Facebook and Instagram and @GuinnessUS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit www.GuinnessBreweryBaltimore.com. Guests of all ages are always welcome to visit the Guinness open Gate Brewery Monday through Wednesday 3:00pm to 9:00pm, Thursday 3:00pm to 10:00pm, Friday 12:00pm to 10:00pm, Saturday 11:00am to 10:00pm and Sunday 11:00am to 9:00pm and enjoy a guided tour of the brewing facility. Whether enjoying a pint at the Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin or anywhere in between, please do so responsibly.