Near the end of its 90-day session, the General Assembly signed off on the liquor license changes Guinness needs to open a tap room and brewery in Baltimore County. But the Irish brewer plans to go back to lawmakers to ask for more.
Guinness initially asked for a license that would allow it to sell 5,000 barrels of beer on site in the former Seagram's building on Washington Boulevard in Relay. But bars and liquor stores saw that as a threat and the legislature compromised on 3,000 barrels.
Dwayne Kratt, the senior director of state government affairs for Diageo, the company that owns Guinness, said that’s enough to get the ball rolling. But if the Guinness tap room is to be a success, he said, his company will be bellying back up to the legislative bar for permission to sell more.
"Hopefully within the next two years, you’ll see that project being successful," Kratt said. "You’ll see that our beer wholesaler partners are benefiting, you’ll see that retailers are benefitting."
Diageo plans to open the Baltimore County Guinness facility in October and officials say they expect it will attract up to 250,000 people each year.
Governor Hogan still needs to sign off on the legislation for the company to get the license it needs.