Last Thursday, Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore kicked off their highly anticipated, month-long celebration in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Their 17 Days of St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes new crafted beers released at each of the four weekend celebrations, live music and more.
With Covid-19 protocols in place indoor and outside as well as fire pits outside to keep warm, it’s possible to celebrate however you feel comfortable at the brewery. Patrons are encouraged to browse their digital menu by using a phone to scan a barcode, complete with support service on the app for questions and concerns. Orders can be placed at the indoor bar or through the app. You can also browse a Guinness gift shop featuring T-shirts, keychains, and even crafted to-go beers to enjoy at home.
There are three weekend-long events left on the Guinness calendar, and District Fray spoke to Guinness Open Gate Brewery National Ambassador and Certified Cicerone, Ryan Wagner to get the inside scoop on the upcoming weekend-long celebrations and what guests could expect.
District Fray: What gave you the idea for 17 Days of St. Patrick’s Day?
Ryan Wagner: We’re open Thursday through Sunday since we’ve reopened during Covid, and [we] realized there were four full weekends in March [and] we’ll be open on St. Patrick’s Day itself. The 17th is always a big day, so it was just a way to highlight in a more fun way that we were really spreading out the festivities in the month of March. [We] wanted to give people that comfort in knowing that regardless of when they decided to visit us in March, they were going to have a similar experience.
Can you tell us a bit more about the celebrations you have planned?
The idea was to have similar experiences each weekend, but to change some of the details. Every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. is a movie night, but the movie is going to change, every Friday we’ll feature a beer release, and Saturdays will have live music entertainment. Last weekend, [we released] our Breakfast Tea Amber Ale and BA Mint Chocolate Stout. This week is the release of our Clover Honey, which is a beer we brewed the last couple years around St. Patrick’s Day. Next week, [we’ll release] our Black Currant Stout beer that we’ve brewed a couple times. And then the final Friday in March, is the release of the third beer in our Allyship Through Collaboration series, focusing on elevating voices and profiles, heritage and culture of people in the BIPOC community, and giving them a Guinness platform to be able to focus on the beer that we’re creating.
Who is the live entertainment at the brewery throughout the month of March?
We are very fortunate to be working with the 19th Street Band, which is a very well-known band in D.C. They’ve been playing for a long time together. They are in some ways Irish-inspired in only that their lead singer is from Northern Ireland. But they are very much an Americana bluegrass band and I think everyone will find something to love from the music that they play. They’ll be performing every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on St. Patrick’s Day.
What can guests expect to enjoy from the menu?
There will be food throughout the week. However, Sunday mornings we’ll have full Irish breakfasts and people were pretty excited about this last week. We also will have Sunday roast and dinner. The idea was inspired from the classic Irish roasts that you find in Irish pubs and throughout the United States, but certainly in Ireland. The food will change – last week was a prime rib dinner. This Sunday night will be buttermilk fried chicken with amazing sides to choose from.
How do you come up with the perfect beer and food combinations?
We are very proud of our brewing heritage and our brewing team. And they help come up with beer and food people want to enjoy and ultimately keep our menu balanced and exciting. So, we like to work our food around those beer menus and keep people coming back.
How will seating work for guests amidst Covid?
It is first come, first serve. But we do have enough space outdoors and indoors for guests to visit. We also follow our Covid protocols heavily so there will be social distance seating and it is mandatory for guests to stick with their group at their tables. We love our wanderers at the brewery, but we do want to make sure everyone has a fun and safe experience we’re asking people to remain with their group and if you are having to walk over somewhere you are required to wear your mask.
What can guests expect in the future from Guinness Open Gate Brewery?
An incredible hospitality experience, bringing Irish hospitality into our brewery has been a priority from day one, high quality beer and a place for everyone to feel welcome no matter your race, sexuality, background, etc. We wanted to create a place for people that is equal parts Guinness and Maryland. These are the things you’ll always find at our brewery and we want everyone to feel welcome.
To learn more about Guinness Open Gate Brewery’s 17 Days of St. Patrick’s Day, visit www.guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com and follow @guinnessbreweryus on Instagram. For more tips on how to have a safe and festive St. Patrick’s Day from Guinness, check out this article from our March 2021 issue.
Guinness Open Gate Brewery: 5001 Washington Blvd. Halethorpe, MD; 443-575-6893; www.guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com
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