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Guinness brewery in Halethorpe is benefiting the Maryland Food Bank through beer and bread

The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe has begun selling beer and bread curbside, with the Maryland Food Bank a beneficiary.
The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe has begun selling beer and bread curbside, with the Maryland Food Bank a beneficiary.(Jeffrey F. Bill)

After closing temporarily to customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Halethorpe is now offering contactless curbside beer pickup to benefit the Maryland Food Bank.

As of Thursday, customers can preorder their beer online and pick it up curbside without having to leave their cars.

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Ryan Wagner, ambassador at Guinness, said the brewery has had to learn to adapt to continue reaching

“Everything has changed,” he said. “We are learning a new language as we go and are trying to find creative ways to engage with our friends and customers.”

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After closing its doors and canceling its St. Patrick’s Day celebration last month, the brewery informed its customers of its plans to further serve the community. On March 26, it announced it would be donating $1 million to its Guinness Gives Back Fund to support nonprofit organizations in its communities, according to its Facebook page.

“We’re reminded now more than ever, that we all have the power to lift each other up, even when we keep our distance,” they wrote.

In addition to its donation, the brewery announced April 22 that it would be donating 500 loaves of its Brewers Bread every week to the Maryland Food Bank.

“We can’t pour beer right now, but we can bake bread,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “Even when our gates are closed, we’re still committed to this community.”

Despite only having offered curbside pickup for a short amount of time, Wagner said the response has been overwhelming, with roughly 40 customers coming through on the first day.

“We have been blown away,” he said. “People were excited to see us, and [they] followed the rules to maintain social distancing.”

To ensure their safety, customers must show a valid photo ID and their confirmation email through a closed car window to a staff member. Once they are approved, they must remain in their vehicle and open their trunk, while a staff member places their beer inside. If they must exit their vehicle, they have to maintain a distance of 6 feet, according to the brewery’s website.

Wagner said he hopes the selections offered at the curbside pickup will help give customers a sense of normalcy.

“Whether it is something as little as a loaf of bread, [we hope to bring] even a small amount of normal into a world where the definition of normal changes every day,” he said.

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