Guinness taproom’s first Chicago pour will take a little longer

Originally promised for this St. Patrick’s Day, the company says its Chicago brewery will open this summer in Fulton Market.

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A building at 901 W. Kinzie St. in the West Loop neighborhood, where a Guinness taproom is planned to be located, is seen in this photo, Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Guinness plans to open its second U.S. taproom in the former Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal Building, 901 W. Kinzie St.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Perhaps the worst thing Chicago beer drinkers can say about Guinness is that the brand will miss a deadline.

In 2021, the division of liquor giant Diageo said it expected to have its second U.S. taproom open in Fulton Market by St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17. It won’t make it.

But Guinness offered assurances Friday that it’s still opening in Chicago, just on a delayed timetable. The company said it plans to open this summer in the former Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal Building, which is getting a thorough makeover.

Called OGB Chicago, a name derived from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, the taproom will be at 901 W. Kinzie St. It will have its own 10-barrel brewing system.

“We are committed to opening when the time is right and when the space is exactly how we’re imagining it,” said Ryan Wagner, head of marketing and community partnerships at Guinness.

Executives said the taproom will offer a rotating lineup of 12 to 16 Guinness beers, some of them small-batch or experimental styles. Other beers, including the famous Draught Stout, will be imported from Dublin.

The taproom is expected to employ about 75 people.

OGB Chicago will be the first Guinness taproom to have a bakery. The menu will feature Irish favorites such as brown bread and beef-and-Guinness stew as well as local standards such as an Italian beef sandwich. In a nod to the first U.S. taproom near Baltimore, the location will offer crab cakes.

The company said it is emphasizing sustainability and local partnerships for its venture.

It said the building will get solar panels that are expected to eventually produce all its power. The boiler for the brewing process will be powered by electricity and the spent grain donated to local farmers for livestock feed, the company said.

Guinness said its partners in the operation include a joint venture of Hyde Park Hospitality and Stefani Restaurant Group.

The location is owned by Chicago developer Fred Latsko, who has told media outlets he wants to build a residential tower just west at 375 N. Morgan St. and connect it to the taproom. Latsko could not be reached for comment.

A rendering of the finished Guinness taproom in Fulton Market.

A rendering of the finished Guinness taproom in Fulton Market.

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