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Guinness plan could go flat without help from Annapolis

John Lee

Plans to put a Guinness brewery in Baltimore County will fall flat unless the Maryland General Assembly takes action. It’s all about how much beer Guinness would be allowed to pour.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz told the county’s House delegation that Diageo, the company that owns Guinness, needs a change in the liquor license, otherwise the brewery won’t fly.

"They need more pints," Kamenetz said. "They’ve got to sell more pints because they think they’re going to be attracting so many people as a tourism opportunity that they’re not going to be able to keep pouring the beer to the tourists."

According to Kamenetz, State Senator Bobby Zirkin plans to introduce legislation next week that would increase by 10 times how much beer Guinness could sell at the site.

Diageo wants to establish a brewery and tap house in Relay in Southwest Baltimore County, on the site of the closed Calvert whiskey bottling plant it owns on Washington Boulevard.

Kamenetz told lawmakers the brewery would be a tourist destination and would not compete with any restaurants and liquor stores.

Jack Milani with the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association says he can't comment on Zirkin’s legislation because he hasn’t seen it yet.

The Guinness brewery and taproom would be a 50 million dollar investment in Baltimore County that would create up to 70 jobs. It’s been more than 60 years since Guinness had a brewery in the United States.