Not unlike many Americans we’re big Guinness beer fans, and we’ve been awaiting the opening of their new Chicago taproom, but now that wait is now over.
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. That venue has welcomed more than 900,000 visitors and produced more 250 experimental brews since its inception. But in April Diageo, which owns the legendary beer brand, closed the larger production facility, but thankfully its 10 barrel innovation brewery and vistor center are still open and cranking out small-batch creations.
And now all eyes have shifted west to Chicago…
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 a former rail depot near Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood.
They also announced that it would open in time for St Patrick’s Day but that date was bumped to later in 2023.
And on September 28 the highly anticipated Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Chicago finally opened,
Located in the long-vacated Pennsylvania Railroad Depot, north of Randolph Restaurant Row and west of Halsted, the Guinness taproom, restaurant, and bakery occupies a 15,000 space with a 10-barrel system that will produce beers only available at its Chicago location. The uber-hip venue can accommodate room for 300+ beer lovers including outdoor seating. And 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 built 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.”
And 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.
“This is an exciting step in the continuing evolution of the Guinness brand in America,” Rodney Williams, President of Diageo Beer Company added. “It’s been a long journey, but we are so thrilled to be opening our doors this week and to contribute to Chicago’s world class food and beer scene.”
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(Image credits: Guinness)