Maryland May Soon Be Home to a New Guinness Brewery

Diageo North America
Diageo North America / Diageo North America

Ireland’s most famous beer may soon be brewed on American soil, for the first time in more than six decades. The Baltimore Sun reports that Diageo—the alcohol beverages company that owns Guinness Brewery—is planning to build a mid-size version of its Dublin-based Open Gate Brewery near Relay, Maryland, in southern Baltimore County.

Relay is home to a former Seagram’s whiskey bottling plant, and Diageo owns Seagram’s. The company wants to re-purpose the buildings into a major tourist attraction—complete with a brewery, taproom, and tasting room—and focus on producing brand-new beers for U.S. drinkers.

Diageo says it will invest $50 million in the Baltimore-area brewery. As of right now, the plan is to begin construction in Spring 2017 and open facilities to the public as soon as Fall 2017. However, the brewery still needs to pass muster with the Maryland General Assembly, which is responsible for approving a special liquor license to permit large-scale on-site beer sales.

Baltimore has always been a beer town. Originally home to National Bohemian Beer (which the Pabst Brewing Company purchased, and moved to Eden, North Carolina and Albany, Georgia), it now has a thriving craft beer scene. A Guinness Brewery would be a welcome addition, officials say, as it could create up to 70 jobs (or even more, once you take guest services into account) and attract tourist revenue.

"Guinness's plan to build a brewery at its historic facility in Relay, Md., is great news for job creation, manufacturing, and tourism in our state," Maryland governor Larry Hogan said 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."

Check out a mock-up of the brewery below, courtesy of Diageo.

[h/t The Baltimore Sun]