Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Guinness Open Gate Brewery Visit

This past weekend, I finally had the chance to make the long overdue trip down to the Guinness Open Gate Brewery here in the Baltimore area. And I must tell you, it was definitely worth visiting and checking out. From the great feel of the exterior to the nice warm feeling of the interior to the well-designed space, the brewery itself definitely created its own tone to make it distinctive.

So I and my old friend Keith decided to connect up here to grab lunch and catch up now that we are both in Baltimore. You see, Keith is one of my longest-living friends that I still connect with as we go back to when we met many years ago when I was in 7th grade and he was in 5th, and we were pretty much neighbors growing up. There are many stories I could share of the fun we had back in the day as we reminisced but that's maybe for another time, but since moving back to the east this was a great time for us to catch up again and neither of us had a chance to check out the Guinness spot so it made a perfect choice.

So as we met and headed into the parking lot, it was easy to just be amazed at the look and the design of the brewery to which I alluded earlier. This huge entrance sits at the top of the steps and just beckons you to step inside. A large courtyard outside with a huge space that it would be easy for football or in America a soccer game to break out if it wasn't for the chairs and tables occupying it. Had it not been for the rain showers that we were underway on this afternoon, we could have easily enjoyed some of the spots outside as well.

This being said, we entered the brewery, and just as nice as it was on the outside, the inside did not disappoint. Funny thing on the way in, I was asked for identification. Lol. that hasn't happened for many years, it must have been the shave from the new razor, lol. But, walking in, Keith already had a good corner spot at the bar and so we were ready to rock and roll.

As we discussed the brewery, Keith like myself had been a Guinness drinker for a number of years. So talking with each other and knowing the parts of the Guinness history that I did, I shared some of that as we spoke, and Keith was intrigued as he himself had also been a Guinness fan to which I wasn't aware. 

Now the cool thing about going to a brewery and why I also recommend people to do so from time to time is that the brewery experience can be that much more for fans of beer. The tap list offered many offerings that you would not see in a store or even a bar, you have to go there and the collection of beers on tap they had was across a nice beer diverse spectrum. Also in talking about diversity., this also transcended into the staff as well which was great to see and all were welcoming.

So, getting into the beers, my buddy Keith pretty much kept it on the Guinness IPA which he was enjoying. I, myself, well, of course, had to mix it up. So as I almost always do, I decided to start with two flights that they were offering with one being more of a hop flight and the other being a mix of ales that included an amber, porter, brown, and stout. All of the flight beers were part of their experimental beers as also was my capper of the Old Fashioned-Inspired Ale which I went full size on. Although. full size on an 11.5% ABV meant 1/2 size of a large snifter, lol. It worked though.

We both went with the burgers for lunch although the English breakfast was almost the selection to go with which may be the choice the next time I go. For that, you must order between 11am and 2pm, but it looks to be a little loaded mini-feast. The burger though was done well though, came out medium as ordered and was juicy as can be. Coupled with their Guinness-style chips which were like french fries done in chip form and were perfect for dipping into their homemade ketchup, along with a good size pickle too.

Overall no real complaints about the food or the beer, although the one thing I will say about the pricing is that I do feel the beers were more costly than some of the other breweries that you may be accustomed to visiting. Maybe, this is just part of the Guinness experience but at $15.50 for one flight and $18.50 for another, they were the most expensive that I have ever paid anywhere on the flight level. The Old Fashioned-Inspired Ale wasn't bad at $11.25 considering and the burger at $18 was a little higher than average but not really too crazy. Overall, it was a great experience, and definitely would recommend a visit if you are in the Baltimore area and want a brewery to check out. Keep in mind, that it is the only Guinness brewery in the states so that alone makes it that much more attractive for a visit in my book.

Cheers! 🍻

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