The $50 million investment envisages a “mid-sized” Guinness brewery to pursue new beers for the US market as well as a packaging and warehousing operation and a Guinness visitor experience. It’s estimated that some 10 million people visit craft breweries in the US and visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store.
However while the brewing of Guinness Blonde and other innovations of late from the Guinness stable intended for the US market will be moved across to the US, the traditional Guinness stout will continue to be brewed here in Dublin.
The project represents the recommencement of direct brewing in the US for the first time in 63 years by Diageo and apart from the construction phase, could provide up to 40 jobs with another 30 on the Guinness visitor experience side.
“Opening a Guinness brewery and visitor center in the US will enable us to collaborate with fellow brewers and interact with the vibrant community of beer drinkers,” stated Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company USA, “Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the US, we’re confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County.”
Relay was chosen as the preferred location for this project for several reasons including the site’s proximity to major East Coast tourist and population hubs, availability of skilled employees and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property.
“As the largest Diageo beer distributor in the state of Maryland, we are very excited about today’s announcement by Diageo Beer Company USA to resurrect its facility in Relay and build a brewery,” said Evan Anthanas, President, Chesapeake Beverage distributors, “Not only will this project help build the Guinness brand in Maryland, the tourism piece and brand experience planned for this project will certainly enhance Maryland’s beer industry and be a benefit to our retail customers.”
Diageo hopes to receive approvals and to begin construction this Spring with the goal of opening the brewery in the Autumn to mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness being first imported into the US.