The Guinness Open Gate Brewery will officially open to the public on Thursday, September 28.
To commemorate the opening, Guinness brewers, adorers, employees, and Chicagoans gathered for a celebratory ribbon-cutting at Guinness’ newest home. Located at 901 West Kinzie St. in the West Loop neighborhood, the former rail depot consists of a brewery, taproom, restaurant, and bakery housed in a 15,000-square-foot newly transformed space. Chicago marks Guinness’ very first bakery globally, and second brewery location in the U.S., with the Guinness Open Gate Brewery Baltimore having opened in 2018. This site will combine more than 260 years of brewing experience from Ireland, with cutting edge American brewing innovation, for a uniquely Chicago experience.
“This is an exciting step in the continuing evolution of the Guinness brand in America. It’s been a long journey, but we are so thrilled to be opening our doors this week and to contribute to Chicago’s world class food and beer scene,” said Rodney Williams, President of Diageo Beer Company in a statement. “As a Chicago native, I can confidently share that we aim to celebrate and showcase this great city and make a positive impact in the community, all while serving great beer.”
“I extend our warmest Illinois welcome to Guinness as they join the Chicago brewing family, continuing centuries of tradition right here in the heart of the West Loop,” said Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. “Guinness’ commitment to community engagement and sustainability is admirable, and I’m pleased that both locals and visitors alike will have access to yet another unique cultural and culinary opportunity while in Chicago — a city with a proud history of both.”
Guests can expect 12-16 rotating experimental draughts, most of which will be brewed on site and exclusively available in the taproom, alongside signatures like Guinness Draught Stout, Guinness Extra Stout, and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which will always come straight from Dublin. Led by Brewer Megan Schwarz, the Chicago brewing team’s 10-barrel brewhouse is hard at work with an initial line-up including Corn Maize Cream Ale made from corn grown in Illinois’ Iroquois County, Kinzie Street Pale Ale, and a Mango Chile Ale. Guinness 0 Non-Alcoholic Draught will also be available. All beer sales are limited to guests 21 years of age and over, but the restaurant is open to guests of all ages.
“Open Gate Brewery is the center of innovation and creativity for Guinness, particularly when it comes to beer,” said Ryan Wagner, National Guinness Ambassador and Head of Marketing, Guinness OGB Chicago. “Opening in Chicago allows us to be a part of one of the most storied and celebrated beer communities in the United States – and we can’t wait to bring the unique flavors and heritage of Guinness brewing to an exciting tap list that will appeal to every kind of beer drinker. Our brewers Megan and Nate are among the best in the industry, and we’re stoked to share their beers with Chicago and beyond.”
The culinary program will be led by Dream Team Hospitality, a joint venture by local industry veterans, with chef Taylor Bischof at the helm. The food menu draws inspiration from the brand’s Irish roots and global footprint, alongside reimagined Chicago classics. The site will offer morning bakery and café service daily, with an all-day restaurant menu available Wednesday through Sunday, as well as brunch on weekends.
The bakery and café will feature offerings from Chicago’s own Intelligentsia Coffee and Aya Pastry, alongside bread and treats baked fresh daily in the brewery. Guinness OGB Chicago will also be donating 10,000 loaves of Brewers Bread per year to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Other local culinary partners include Milky Milky Ice Cream and Pour Souls.
The design of the building marries new and old, transforming a long vacant building into a state-of-the-art facility, adorned with a patio with stairs reminiscent of Chicago’s Riverwalk steps, and a contemporary door with weathered steel finish. The space features a hand painted mural, complemented by a bubbly amber sculptural light fixture – a nod to the iconic foam atop a fresh pint of Guinness – which flows throughout the brewery. A nearly 10,000-pound harp sculpture with layered ambient lighting sits high above the main taproom bar.
In keeping with Guinness parent company Diageo’s commitment to the environment, Guinness OGB Chicago will:
- Source 100% renewable electricity from solar panels and renewable energy credits
- Operate as a zero waste to landfill facility
- Utilize a 100% electric boiler, which generates steam used to heat the mash and boil
- Commit that all spent grain from the brewing process will go to compost
Guinness OGB Chicago is committed to serving the local community by:
- Donating 10,000 loaves of Brewers Bread to the Greater Chicago Food Depository
- Partnering with Choose Chicago and the Choose Chicago Foundation 501(c)(3) to support their Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Apprenticeship Program, which offers on-the-job experience to those from historically underrepresented BIPOC communities.
- Serving as presenting sponsor for the Chicago Brewseum Beer Culture Summit, which takes place October 18-21 with the conference’s closing night festivities happening at the brewery.
- Taking part in Learning Skills for Life in partnership with YWCA of Chicago. Learning Skills for Life is a complimentary global program started by Diageo, which teaches business and hospitality skills to those seeking employment in the hospitality industry, but who may have faced barriers to education and employment in their lives.