Guinness Set To Close Maryland Factory And Layoff Nearly 100 Workers

Back in 2018, Maryland natives had a reason to celebrate: Guinness was opening its only U.S. brewery at the time in their home state – the first one in the country in over 60 years (a short-lived brewery in Long Island City, New York closed in 1954). Five years later, about 97 workers are set to be laid off at its manufacturing facility in Halethorpe, Maryland. 

According to WMAR, Guinness' parent company, Diageo, announced the June 9, 2023 closure in a statement, saying it will provide the laid-off employees with "severance packages, outplacement assistance, and employee assistance resources, as well as information on open roles" within the company.

In the first three months after the Guinness brewery opened, WTOP News said over 100,000 people came to see what all the hype was about. It was an exciting moment — the site featured a brewery, restaurant, food truck, store, and beer garden, and was a reflection of the dynamic history of brewing in the state of Maryland.

And, while the manufacturing facility will soon close, other areas will remain open.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery lives on

Diageo said the facility, which hosted more than 1.3 million customers in its nearly five-year run, is underutilized and that it will be shifting its focus in the U.S. "to meet evolving consumer preferences" and "ensure long-term sustainable growth for Diageo" (via WBAL News Radio). And, despite the closure of its manufacturing facility, Diageo still plans on brewing experimental Guinness beers, including its signature Guinness Blonde, in its visitor center, which will remain open, along with its neighboring Guinness Open Gate Brewery taproom and restaurant.

"We will continue to brew experimental beers to serve the brewery's taproom in the 10-barrel innovation brewery on the ground floor of the visitor center," the company stated.

Not only can Guinness fans still experience their favorite beers at the brewery in Maryland, but they can soon get a taste in Chicago, where a new Guinness Open Gate Brewery is expected to open this summer in its West Loop neighborhood.