WASHINGTON — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was on hand Thursday to help open the first Guinness brewery on U.S. soil in more than 60 years.
“Our administration is proud of Maryland’s robust and growing brewing industry and we are excited to welcome a legendary brewery like Guinness to our great state,” Hogan said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House in Halethorpe, Maryland, Thursday morning.
The brewery opens to the public at 3 p.m. Friday.
The new brewery sits on the refurbished site of a former Seagram’s bottling plant in Baltimore County. The beer-maker said the brewery will create 200 new jobs and said it hopes to attract 300,000 visitors in the first year.
The Baltimore County operation will be home to new Guinness beers specifically created for the U.S. market, such as the Guinness American Blonde Lager. The brand’s iconic stout will continue to be brewed at the famed St. James’ Gate in Dublin.
Construction on the $80 million project began last spring. The brewery opened a test taproom last October.
Diageo, which owns the Guinness brand, said it chose the Baltimore area for its first U.S. operation in several decades because of Maryland’s thriving brewing industry.
“Maryland is growing fast with several notable breweries making a name for themselves locally and nationally,” the company said on its website. “We hope we can help the industry prosper and achieve the recognition we think it deserves. We also believe there is huge potential for increased tourism in the area.”
The last time Guinness beer was brewed in the U.S. was in the early 1950s in New York.
Hogan has been a big supporter of Maryland’s craft brewing industry, which the governor’s office said has helped poured $637 million in economic output into the state and supported more than 6,500 jobs.
Hogan declared February to be FeBREWary earlier this year in appreciation of craft beer brewers.
Hogan has helped cut the ribbon on other breweries in the state, recently helping open True Respite Brewing Co. in Rockville in April.
About the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House
Location: 5001 Washington Blvd., Halethorpe, Maryland
Opening day Opens to the public Aug. 3 at 3 p.m.
Weekday hours Monday through Friday: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Weekend hours 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The taproom features 16 Guinness beers on tap, including classic beers imported from Dublin and new flavors brewed on-site. The brewery’s restaurant will open in late August. On weekends, there will be food trucks.