Diageo Beer Company announced its plans to build a U.S. version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore County, Maryland.
The plan is to build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s existing Relay, Maryland, site. These new additions combined with a packaging and warehousing operation will bring Diageo’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million.
The new brewery will house the new Guinness beers created for the U.S. market, while the iconic Guinness Stouts will continue to be brewed at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland.
Visitors will be able to tour the brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store.
“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the U.S. will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” said Tom Day, president of Diageo Beer Company, USA, in a statement.
"Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the U.S., we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County. We appreciate the support we have received so far from state and local officials, and look forward to continuing to contribute to the local community."
The project will be the first Guinness brewery to open in the U.S. in 63 years.
The new addition will become a part of the Calvert Distillery, which opened in 1933. Relay was chosen as the preferred location because of it’s proximity to major East Coast tourism, availability of skilled employees and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property.
"Baltimore County is thrilled that Diageo is reviving an historic building with the iconic Guinness brand. The brewery and tap house has all the hallmarks to become a popular tourist destination and will be a perfect complement to our local craft breweries," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in a statement.
It is estimated that the project will generate around 40 jobs in brewing, warehousing and packaging. The visitor experience could create approximately 30 jobs. The company also intends to hire as many local construction firms as possible to conduct the building phase.
"Guinness' plan to build a brewery at its historic facility in Relay, Maryland is great news for job creation, manufacturing, and tourism in our state," said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement. "Beer tourism attracts millions of visitors to towns and communities across the country every year, and I look forward to welcoming Guinness to the roster of excellent breweries we have here in Maryland."
Diageo hopes to begin construction this spring with the goal of opening the brewery this fall. The fall will mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness’ first import into the U.S.
Diageo’s collection of brands includes Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Don Julio among others. The Guinness brand was established in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin.