Brewmaster Peter Wiens takes a spin around the brewery.

The wait is almost over for Stout enthusiasts eagerly anticipating the opening of the latest taproom in Maryland. Irish Beer maker, Guinness, is opening its first brewery on American soil since 1954, and its “testing taproom” will open late next month. 

While the full Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Halethorpe is slated to open in 2018, the taproom will give beer lovers a taste of what’s to come.  The entire brewery complex, an estimated $50 million investment by Diageo Beer Company, is promising to generate approximately 70 new jobs in the area once fully open. Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House will not brew the company’s iconic Guinness stout, which will continue to be brewed mainly in Ireland and imported for sale across the USA. Instead, the brewery will focus on making Guinness Blonde American Lager as well as other smaller batch beers, meant specifically for marketing to the USA and Canada.

The site in Halethorpe is the historic former Calvert distillery, which until the early 1990s was a whiskey distillery. The property features over 60 acres of facilities, and once complete, will include a visitor center, multiple taprooms, food, merchandise, and opportunities to tour the facility and learn about the history of Guinness.

The company has hired two experienced American brewers and has secured collaboration deals with other local beer makers, such as Heavy Seas, just a few miles away.

Rachel Bone is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Fishbowl.