BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Beer isn’t the only thing brewing at the new home of Guinness in Baltimore County.
On Wednesday, WJZ got a look at Guinness’s first U.S. brewing operation since the 50s.
Ain’t the beer cold! That was sort of the theme of the day as WJZ got a taste of the Guinness test taproom that’s meant to hold patrons over before the new plant opens up in Baltimore County.
But this is about much more than beer. The economic impact is expected to be huge.
Wednesday, a collective of Maryland state and county leaders got a first look inside the Guinness tap room.
A sort of appetizer until the construction of the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House at the site which has been in the works for more than a year.
It will also be the famous beer maker’s first U.S. brewing operation since the 1950s.
“We could have gone to a lot of other places in the country, but we chose Baltimore for a couple of different reasons,” said Tom Day, president of Diageo Beer Company, which owns Guinness.
“When you think about the history this site has and you compare it with Guinness, who’s been around for 258 years. The two of those together? A lot of magic can happen,” Day said.
Magic many hope takes shape in the form of a major economic shot in the arm for the region.
“We think it’s great for business, and this is going to help, you know, all of the liquor stores, bars, and taverns,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Diageo says they plan to invest about $80 million on the project, and when it’s all said and done, will have created nearly 300 local jobs.
The brewery is also expected to bring about 250,000 visitors to the region in the first year.
Locals are already eagerly waiting to see what’s on tap.
“It’s something new, something interesting, and like I said, long overdue,” said local resident Bob Crawford.
Aside from jobs and the tourist impact here in Baltimore County, another treat for the area will be Guinness Blonde, which will be brewed here on site.
“We’re putting Baltimore County on the brewing capital of the nation,” Kamenetz said.
The temporary taproom opens to the public on Friday, October 27, and while the Blonde lager will be made here in Maryland, Guinness’s iconic stouts will still be imported from Ireland.
The new plant is slated to open sometime in the spring or summer of 2018.