Nearly 10,000 people visited Baltimore County’s new Guinness brewery last weekend, the facility’s first open to the public.
The operation, Guinness’ first in America since the 1950s, is off to a fast start, said brewery ambassador Ryan Wagner.
“We were very happy with the number that came through,” Wagner said. “Seven-hundred people walked through in the first half-hour we were open.”
Attendance during the week was encouraging as well, he said. Though the brewery closed early Monday due to a power outage, the facility averaged approximately 750 visitors between Tuesday and Thursday, according to Wagner.
Earlier this year, Wagner said the attendance goal for its first year is 300,000 visitors — a number that will be surpassed easily if the opening weekend’s pace continues.
The Guinness brewery is notable because of its U.S. location, but also its focus. The brand’s trademark stout will still be produced in Ireland, while the Relay brewery will brew new styles in efforts to appeal to the American craft-beer consumer. Wagner said he was encouraged by what visitors ordered opening weekend — more than half were the new limited beers brewed in Baltimore County.
“It’s a testament to our brewing team,” Wagner said.
More new beers will arrive in the taproom soon, he said, including an oatmeal pale ale and Guinness’ first double India pale ale.
While open to the public, the brewery remains a work in progress. Later this month, a 270-seat restaurant is scheduled to open.