Planning a visit to the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House in Baltimore, Maryland? Here are the key tips and insights for an unforgettable trip to Guinness’ first U.S. brewery in 64 years.
Located just 10 miles from downtown Baltimore and 30 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House is conveniently located and part of an exciting and growing brewing scene in Maryland.
The first part of the brewery's name takes inspiration from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, where the company has experimented in beer for more than a century. The second part of the name, "Barrel House," is a nod to the long history of Guinness brewers maturing beer in wood barrels. In addition, the space was once home to a historic whiskey distillery, so the site boasts a venerable heritage of barrel-aging.
It is the home of Guinness Blonde, along with new Guinness beers created for the U.S. market and experimental brews you can only try at the brewery. The creation of this world-class brewery, barrel house and visitor center, and development of packaging and warehousing operations has generated more than 200 jobs and represents an investment by Guinness' parent company Diageo of approximately $90 million in the Maryland project.
Planning a visit of your own? Here’s what you need to know
How to get there
If you’re making a long weekend of the trip or folding it into your grander road trip plans, consider making Baltimore or Washington, D.C. home base for your visit. The Guinness Brewery and Barrel House is located at 5100 Washington Boulevard in Halethorpe, Maryland, just a 10-mile drive from Baltimore or a 30-mile drive from D.C.
For day-trippers, driving is your best bet, so make sure to have a responsible designated driver lined up. The brewery is easily accessible, almost directly off of Exit 3 on I195, and offers dedicated parking on-site.
What are the hours?
The brewery is open to the public Monday through Wednesday 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Thursday 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Friday 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm.
The on-site restaurant, The 1817, is open Thursday and Friday 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am - 10:00 am, and Sunday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm.
What are the food options?
The food options are many! The Guinness Brewery and Barrel House is home to two dining experiences with cuisine inspired by Ireland’s rich culinary heritage, local Maryland delights, and recipes designed to enhance the Guinness tasting experience.
The Brewery’s taproom menu includes casual, delicious fare like Chesapeake Crab Poutine, Oyster Po’boys, and a decadent Dubliner Irish Dip.
The 1817, named for the year that Guinness first came to America, offers a wider menu with daily oyster selections, small plates, flatbreads, and mouth-watering main courses like Guinness & Beef Stew, the 1817 Burger, Sea Scallops, and a Prime Cut Delmonico. The dessert menu is equally alluring, and the side options include real Irish brown bread with Kerrygold butter. Each menu item points guests to the best Guinness brew to accompany their food.
What tours and events are available?
Visitors are welcome to come for the taproom or 1817 experiences. For those who want an expert view, hour-long brewery tours with optional guided tastings are also available, and for these, reservations are recommended.
The Brewery and Barrel House is also host to a range of events, from live music to beer release parties to brunch. Get the most up-to-date event listings on their Facebook page.