Guinness Open Gate Brewery Launched In Chicago

By Robert McHugh
Guinness Open Gate Brewery Launched In Chicago

Guinness will officially introduce its Open Gate Brewery in Chicago to the public on Thursday 28 September.

The brewery is located at 901 West Kinzie Street, in the West Loop neighbourhood.

The former rail depot consists of a brewery, taproom, restaurant and bakery, housed in a newly transformed 15,000-square-foot space.

Chicago Experience

This will be Guinness’s first bakery, globally, and its second brewery location in the US, with the Guinness Open Gate Brewery Baltimore having opened in 2018.

The team behind Guinness said that this site will combine more than 260 years of brewing experience from Ireland with cutting-edge American brewing innovation, for a unique ‘Chicago experience’.


New And Old

The building is designed to combine new and old, with the intention of 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 a 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.

Experimental Draughts

Visitors can expect 12-16 rotating experimental draughts, most of which will be brewed on site and made 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.

The Chicago brewing team is led by Megan Schwarz, and the ten-barrel brewhouse will work with an initial line-up including Corn Maize Cream Ale, made from corn grown in Illinois’ Iroquois County, Kinzie Street Pale Ale, and Mango Chile Ale.


Culinary Programme

The culinary programme will be led by Dream Team Hospitality, a joint venture by local industry veterans, with chef Taylor Bischof at the helm.

Guinness noted that the food menu draws inspiration from the brand’s Irish roots and global footprint, alongside reimagined Chicago classics. The bakery and cafe will feature offerings from Chicago’s own Intelligentsia Coffee and Aya Pastry, alongside bread and treats baked fresh daily in the brewery.

‘Centuries Of Tradition’

Guinness brewers, employees and Chicagoans gathered for a celebratory ribbon-cutting at the site this week.

“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’s 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.”