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Guinness' head brewer in Baltimore area named Beer Person of the Year

Hollie Stephenson, (far left) head brewer at Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House, participates in a beer tasting at the brewery in 2017.
Hollie Stephenson, (far left) head brewer at Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House, participates in a beer tasting at the brewery in 2017. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Hollie Stephenson, head brewer for the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Halethorpe, has been named 2019 Beer Person of the Year by "Imbibe" magazine.

A photo of a smiling Stephenson standing inside the Baltimore County plant — the Irish beer maker’s first stateside brewery since 1954 — can be found in the Jan. 8 issue of “Imbibe.” An article by Joshua M. Bernstein praises Stephenson’s skills at formulating new recipes.

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“Stephenson is bringing the Irish icon beyond the stout, brewing citrusy IPAs [pale ales] and witbiers [white beers] fermented with Guinness yeast,” Bernstein wrote.

The article says that two of Stephenson’s creations generated “fresh buzz” for her most recent employer, North Carolina’s Highland Brewing Company and added that Stephenson “savors the freedom” of operating a pilot brewery for experimental beers, concluding that “today’s taproom exclusive could be tomorrow’s national release.”

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