When Guinness opened the doors to a brewery just outside of Baltimore almost two years ago, it also opened the doors to the potential of seeing a lot more new United States releases – and not just in small batches. Guinness Open Gate Brewery consistently veers off the beaten path of its classic Irish dry stout, the beer that made the brewery a household name, to create new, and sometimes unusual, offerings like it’s latest release, which is a festive take on a holiday treat.
Aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout comes just in time for stout season and represents the change of seasons as the crisp late fall becomes the chilly holiday season. The winter treat, an 11.0 percent ABV stout brewed with allspice, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, offers a comforting warmth and holiday nostalgia that Guinness believes pairs best with roasted pork with fig, vanilla panna cotta, or crème brûlée. It’s the first holiday beer Guinness is releasing nationwide, making the announcement late last week on International Stout Day.
If you’re like most Americans, you probably have no idea that Guinness offers up a surprising amount of variants to it’s traditional stout at its Dublin facility. It’s something the Maryland facility is looking to continue to highlight across the pond, brewing more eye-catching efforts in the hopes of innovating and spotlighting the brand’s capabilities – and barrel-aging is certainly nothing new for Guinness.
“Barrels have been a part of Guinness brewing history for centuries, so we’re excited to continue expanding on that tradition by becoming a center for the barrel-aging experience in the U.S.,” said Sean Brennan, Senior Brewer at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, in a statement. “It truly gives us the chance to create, experiment and discover. We brewed Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout to evoke the warm, rich flavors of holiday spices.”
Guinness Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout is being released along with Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels, a 10.3 percent ABV effort that features notes of chocolate and bourbon, hints of coconut and vanilla and a woody oak finish on the back-end, perfect for slow-sipping by the fire. Both beers are available in four-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles for a limited time, at Guinness Open Gate Brewery and on shelves throughout the country.