When Guinness opened its brewery in Baltimore in 2018, it was the first time the company had produced beers in the US in 64 years. As soon as you walk in, you realize that the place was designed to be a showcase. If you ever wondered what an industrial scale craft brewery would be like, look no further. Guinness Open Gate Brewery is it.
The beer menu that it is divided into two sections: beer that is brewed in Maryland and beer that is brewed in Dublin.
Their famous stout is not brewed in Maryland, so it is listed in the Dublin section of the menu. The main beer brewed in Maryland is the Guinness Blonde, an American style lager. But that is not the only local beer you can get at Open Gate. They have a number of experimental beers that you can only get at the brewery. While I Guinness’ stout is one of my favorite beers, I do also like to try their specialty beers. I can have the best of both by ordering a flight.
On a recent trip, I did just that and tried a number of experimental ales: Game Day Amber, Salt & Lime Ale, Spiced Stout, and Brett Farmhouse Ale. Most of these were light and refreshing, perfect for the summer time. Both the Spiced Stout and the Salt & Lime have a bit of a kick to them, giving the beer some extra flavor. My clear favorite was the Salt & Lime. So much so that the next time I went to the brewery I made sure to get it. My companion also got a flight, which consisted of the Baltimore Blonde (wanting to try their signature Maryland beer), White Ale, Over Moon Milk Stout, and the Guinness IPA. Her favorite was the blonde. However, she also commented that the IPA is a very good IPA.
Food is served in both the indoor area (the taproom) and the outdoor seating area. The menus are different, with the outdoor one having the label “Food Truck Menu”. The pictures here are all from the tap room but I have also ordered food outdoors on other occasions. The menu has changed, so neither of the sandwich pictures ( a french dip and a sausage) are on it currently. However, the current menu items are all very good.
The sausage platter is excellent and I highly recommend it. The vegetables served with it vary with the season. On this occasion, it came with asparagus; now the menu has Brussels Sprouts. My companion ordered the 1817 Heritage Burger and liked it very much. She noted that the Aged Irish Cheddar added a nice flavor. We both got the Gazpacho soup and agreed it was quite tasty. As for the sandwiches, I recall being disappointed by the french dip, but I don’t remember why. The food has definitely gotten better over time.
The Guinness Brewery also has several appetizers. Pictures here are the Korean BBQ Cauliflower and breadsticks with beer cheese. The Cauliflower is amazing. They are crisp and tender and have just a little bit of spice to make things interesting. I’m not sure the breadsticks are currently on the menu, but the outdoor menu has other forms of pretzels. Pretzels and beer cheese are a classic combination, so I am glad they are still available in some form. The appetizers on the outdoor menu include a crab dip platter and a hummus platter. I have had both and enjoyed them. Very good for snacking on.
Guinness Open Gate Brewery has a lot of space both indoors and outdoors. Before COVID, the indoor taproom was always packed with people. But even after COVID, as large and spacious as it is, the places fills up quickly. The taproom has a rooftop deck that has good views of the lawn area. The deck is a pleasant place to eat, drink, and relax when the weather permits it.
On the ground level, there is a large lawn area, now covered with tables for outdoor eating. There are more food options on the indoor menu, and I like the food better there as well. The outdoor area is big enough that Guinness hosts outdoor movies during the summer. This past summer had old favorites such as Princess Bride, the Goonies, and Star Wars. There is also a gift shop in the building, where one can buy all sorts of Guinness themed items.
With great beer, top notch food, and a pleasant atmosphere with plenty of open space Guinness Open Gate Brewery has it all. It is the perfect place to relax after work or to spend a relaxed afternoon.