BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a name wrapped in 260 years of tradition; Guinness and its iconic Irish stout.

In August 2018, Guinness opened its only brewery in North America, just 10 miles from downtown Baltimore.

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Hollie Stephenson is the head brewer at Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

“What a head brewer does entirely depends on the brewery that you’re at and the size that you are,” Stephenson said. “I manage the schedules. I manage the tap list that we have here in the taproom.”

It’s one of the most important jobs in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

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“I mean it’s definitely a growing demographic, because of people putting serious effort into it, but yeah, we’re still a very small percentage,” Stephenson said.

In 2019, Stephenson was named Imbibe Magazine’s Beer Person of The Year, and for good reason. In just a year and a half, she’s helped Open Gate welcome more than 600,000 guests.

“I mean I don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘Oh, wow. I really feel like blazing a trail today,'” Stephenson said. “It’s just what happens when I go to work.”

Stephenson, who got her start in the beer industry 10 years ago, is now helping develop what American Guinness is going to be.

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“There were a lot of women that came before me in the industry that has done a lot to form building blocks so that each generation has been able to do a little better than they did and so I just hope that I can continue to uphold that for the next generation,” Stephenson said.

Sean Streicher