Guinness to Restore US Brewing After Six-Decade Absence

Liquor giant Diageo said that it aimed to open an American version of Guinness' flagship St. James's Gate brewery at its former bottling plant outside Baltimore.

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The owner of Guinness this week announced plans to open the Irish brewer's first facility in the U.S. in 63 years.

Liquor giant Diageo said that it aimed to open an American version of Guinness' flagship St. James's Gate brewery at its former bottling plant outside Baltimore.

The new brewery would make beers for the U.S. market, while Guinness' famed stouts would continue to be produced in Dublin.

The Maryland brewery would also include packaging operations and warehouse space, along with a taproom and retail store.

“Given the success of our Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and the popularity of beer tourism in the U.S., we are confident that Americans will welcome the opportunity to come experience Guinness brewing in Baltimore County," Diageo Beer Company USA president Tom Day said in a statement.

About 40 jobs would be created in the facility's brewing, warehousing and packaging functions, while another 30 could be created through tour, taproom and retail operations. About 100 people worked at the historic Relay, Md., bottling plant when it was closed in 2015.

Diageo officials said that the project would bring its total investment in the site to $50 million.

The company hopes to start construction in coming months and finish in time to mark the 200th anniversary of Guinness' entry into the U.S. this fall.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the facility would require Maryland lawmakers to alter the state's liquor licensing laws, which could draw opposition from distributors and retailers. Negotiations about establishing a new type of license are reportedly ongoing.

“Guinness’ plan to build a brewery at its historic facility in Relay, Md., is great news for job creation, manufacturing and tourism in our state,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in the 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.”

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