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Keyword: diageo

Diageo investment in historic Relay facility to boost beer tourism

The new Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Baltimore County moved another step closer to serving its first brew. The Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore County has unanimously approved an on-premise consumption permit for the new taproom in Relay in southwest Baltimore County.

“We are thrilled to support Diageo as they revive an historic Baltimore County building with the iconic Guinness brand. This approval is a key next step in creating a world-class tourist destination that will bring new investment, new jobs, and an exciting brew experience,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The new Guinness brewing capability and visitor experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring Diageo’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million and create up to 70 new jobs.

“Diageo, the company that owns the Guinness brand, brought a well thought-out plan to the liquor board. The board enthusiastically voted to approve a permit for the new Guinness taproom,” said Charles Klein, chair of the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore County.

The on-premise consumption permit for a Class 5 brewery was modified during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly legislative session to provide Maryland breweries additional capacity to sell beer that is brewed on-site at their taprooms.

“We’re delighted the County liquor board has granted the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House approval for our tavern license. We are also appreciative for the spirit of partnership that Baltimore County government, the County Executive and the County Council have extended to us. We are excited to open up our brewery next year to visitors and be a part of something that will help strengthen Maryland tourism, the local brewing community and boost economic growth,” said Dwayne Kratt, Diageo’s Senior Director of Government Relations Northeast.

The project would re-establish a Guinness brewery in the United States after 63 years of absence. Relay was chosen as the preferred location for this project for the site’s proximity to major East Coast tourist and population hubs, availability of skilled employees, and space to build and adapt existing structures on the property. 

"Here's to our growing beer trail," added Kamenetz.  

An opening date for the project has not been announced. 


Business-friendly approach would support large and small brewers, local bars and liquor stores

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz sent the following letter today to Senator Joan Carter Conway, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, urging state lawmakers to strike a balance between large and small breweries throughout the State with House Bill 1283. The text of his letter is below:

 

April 3, 2017

 

Honorable Joan Carter Conway, Chair

Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

2 West Miller Senate Office Building

11 Bladen Street

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

 

Re:  Class 5 Breweries’ Legislation (HB 1283)
 

Dear Chairwoman Conway,

As you know, Diageo announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in southwest Baltimore County. The Company plans to build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s Relay site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million and create up to 70 new jobs. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store, creating a major tourism attraction for the region. 

Diageo is seeking legislative changes to accommodate their investment. Different groups have weighed in on the best way to accomplish these goals.  I offer the following thoughts:

1.  Increase barrels.  The craft brewery industry all seem to favor an increase.

2.  Allow craft breweries the right to sell their other products, even if not manufactured on site.

3.  Let local law establish hours of operation.  This avoids the current conflict.

We believe allowing the growth of craft breweries will enhance the demand at local bars and liquor stores.  Because the selection at the taphouse is limited to beer, it will not compete with establishments offering a full selection of beverages. 

Baltimore County Government supports the Diageo project in Relay as well as the craft breweries throughout the State. Thank you for your efforts to clarify this legislation. 


Very truly yours,

Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive


KK:


cc:       Honorable Members, Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. President of the Senate

Honorable Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House

Honorable Dereck Davis, Chair, Committee on Economic Matters

Honorable Members, Baltimore County Senate and House Delegation

Dwayne Kratt, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Diageo

Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of Brewers Association of Maryland


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017