Photo by Morabito92, via Wikimedia Commons

As beer lovers patiently await the arrival of Guinness’ planned Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Relay, the company is meeting them halfway by opening up a “test taproom” in Halethorpe this weekend.

The temporary facility will open to the public Friday, Oct. 27, and will serve customers from 3-8 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. According to the website, food trucks will be serving hungry drinkers and merch will be available for sale.

Perhaps more importantly, Guinness Draught will be served on-site, as will the company’s newer Blonde Lager and experimental beers. The stout will be imported, while the rest will be brewed stateside.

“The Test Taproom is a way for us to experiment and play around with some new ingredients,” said Peter Wiens, the company’s head brewer hired this past summer, in a statement. “We’re thinking of it as a place to have a conversation with American consumers, figure out what they like to drink.”

Wiens, formerly of Stone Brewing Company, will be heading up brewing operations at the permanent Relay facility with Hollie Stephenson, who was hired away from Asheville’s Highland Brewing in August.

The Open Gate Brewery will be constructed out of an old Seagram’s bottling plant that sits on 60 acres of land. It’s being designed by local architecture firm architect Design Collective and assembled by general contractor Plano Coudon Construction.

The finished brewery, expected to open sometime next year, will house multiple taprooms, a visitor’s center and areas to sell food and merchandise. It will be Guinness’ first U.S. brewery in six decades.

The temporary taproom in Halethorpe will employ a two-barrel brewing system, which the company says will mean there’s new beer to try all the time. Its address is 5001 Washington Boulevard.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...