Not unlike many Americans, we’re big Guinness beer fans, and we’ve been looking forward to the opening of their new Chicago taproom. They’d promised to throw open the doors in time for St Patrick’s Day…a promise they were unable to keep.
In 2017 American Craft Beer was invited to Ireland to cover its emerging craft beer scene. And while we were blown away by what by craft breweries like the White Hag in Sligo were doing, we ended many an evening drinking Guinness at the local pub.
We were excited when Guinness opened their first US brewery since leaving New York in 1954 the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Baltimore which has welcomed more than 900,000 visitors and produced 250 experimental brews since it opened in 2018.
There had been rumors that Guinness was looking to open a new hub in the Midwest, and on September 22, 2021 the Diageo-owned brewer confirmed that they would be opening a taproom in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood.
They also announced that it would open in time for St Patrick’s Day (March 17) but now that date has been bumped to summer 2023.
Located in the long-vacated Pennsylvania Railroad Depot, north of Randolph Restaurant Row and west of Halsted, the Guinness Chicago Taproom (that’s what they’re calling it) will occupy a 15,000 space with a 10-barrel system that will produce beers only available at the taproom.
But that’s not all, once open Guinness’ new venue will also have full-service restaurant with room for 300 beer lovers including outdoor seating. The food will be of the Irish pub variety, mixed in with local Windy City favorites.
“As a native Chicagoan, I already know there are so many reasons to love Chicago – its people, culture, diverse and distinctive network of neighborhoods, and of course its food and beer scene. The city was a natural choice to bring our first neighborhood hub to life,” said Jay Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo Beer Company, USA.
“We are building this taproom for the people of Chicago and, as with everything that Guinness does, it’s not just about the beer. We aim to celebrate Chicago and make a positive impact on the local community from the day our doors open.”
More than 75 new jobs will be created to support taproom operations. While the new site will produce a variety of experimental brews, the iconic Guinness Draught Stout and other Guinness beers will continue to be imported from our legendary brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland.
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(Image credits: Guinness / Studio K and Whitney Architects)