Guinness, maker of the renowned Irish stout of the same name, announced to open its new $80 million Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Relay, Maryland, just southwest of Baltimore, on Aug. 3, 2018. This marks a price increase of about 60 percent and delay of nearly one year compared to the initialy published plans. The company announced in February last year that it had started to renovate for about $50 million an own old spirits bottling facility that was closed in 2015 and planned to open a new brewing facility and visitor center in fall 2017, just in time for the 200th anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the United States. (inside.beer, 1.2.2017)
Guinness’ new US brewery will include a visitor center, a 270-seat restaurant and a tap room and employs around 200 people. It will be the Irish brewer’s second brewery in the United States after it closed its brewery in Long Island City, New York, which it owned from 1949 until 1954.
Diageo, largest spirit maker in the world and Guinness' parent company, acquired the new US site in 2001 when it bought the world’s third largest liquor company Seagram including inter alia brands like Captain Morgan and 7 Crown from Vivendi Universal and split the business up with Pernod-Ricard from France, the world's second largest distiller.
On October 27th 2017 Guinness opened a test taproom on site in Maryand. In February this year the technical team at the new site filled about 120 bourbon barrels with Antwerpen Stout brewed at Guinness’ St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland. Recently brewing has started in Relay to be ready for the inauguration of the brewery in August.
Guinness' most famous beers Guinness Draught Stout and Guinness Extra Stout will not be produced in the United States but will instead be imported from Ireland. However, the company will produce here Guinness Blonde American Lager, currently made at City Brewing in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and several experimental brews and barrel-aged beers.
Guinness aims "to become a bigger part of the American craft beer industry, to have a place for innovation and creativity for Guinness in the states," said Ryan Wagner, Guinness brewery ambassador South Atlantic.
"Having a brewery in the USA will help us understand and respond to trends more quickly, as well as brew smaller batches and get them to market faster," Diageo said in a statement. "The USA is probably the most dynamic and exciting beer market in the world right now, and, put simply, we'd like to be closer to the action," it added.