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.

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.

“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.

“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