When Arthur Guinness established the St. James Gate Brewery, the home of Guinness, in 1759, it was Dublin Ale that he first brewed. Years later came the beer that is Dublin’s most recognized, Guinness Stout. As the beer market was changing over 200 years ago, the same as we all know is happening today. A little over a one year ago, Guinness began brewing its Guinness Nitro IPA that was exported to the U.S. market. Now a year later Guinness is launching two new seasonal beers in the U.S., Guinness Rye Pale Ale and Guinness Antwerpen Stout.
Both of these two new offerings were conceived inside the Open Gate Brewery, the 10 Hectoliter innovation brewery that is located within St. James Gate. (Learn more here from our recent trip to St. James Gate.) It is here were Guinness experiments with recipes both new and old to formulate releases such as Guinness Rye Pale Ale and Guinness Antwerpen Stout that are part of The Brewers Project.
Guinness Rye Pale Ale uses roasted barley and rye malt to give the beer its amber color. The rye malt also offers subtle spice notes that meld well with the citrusy grapefruit character from the Mosaic and Cascade Hops used. This beer was first brewed one year ago at the Open Gate Brewery and released during the holiday season. The reviews were very positive so Guinness decided to scale the recipe up and brew Rye Pale Ale at one of its larger brewhouses for a much larger release.
“Beer is obviously something we love, and we wanted to share a little something we were working on with just a few of our closest friends and family and colleagues at the brewery,” explained Peter Simpson in a statement. Simpson is one of the brewers who worked on the original batch of Guinness Rye Pale Ale. “We didn’t expect it to get this kind of reaction, but it just sort of snowballed. Now here we are about to introduce it to the other side of the world.”
Where Guinness Rye Pale Ale was a new recipe, the other new release from Guinness, the Dublin brewer previously brewed Guinness Antwerpen Stout. This beer’s history dates back to 1944 known then as Guinness Special Export when it was brewed for the Belgian city of Antwerp. To win over the Belgian beer drinker, Guinness brewed this beer to resemble one that the locals would appreciate. Antwerpen Stout offers a deep rich roasted malt character that is offset by prominent notes of licorice and raisins. It’s a much bigger stout than the brewery’s popular stout offering and its much more stronger at nearly double the ABV at 8.0%. You’d almost guess that Guinness used a different yeast strain but the one used is the exact same one used in brewing Guinness Draught.
“It’s been more than 70 years since we first exported the Antwerpen Stout from Dublin to Antwerp, but its cult following is probably stronger than it’s ever been,” noted Padraig Fox in a release, who is the General Manager for the Open Gate Brewery Experience. “I guess now the secret is out. Even if it is only for a few months, we’re happy to see this Guinness favorite having its moment in the U.S.”
Both Guinness Rye Pale Ale and Guinness Antwerpen Stout are currently available in the United States. The Rye Pale Ale at 5.0% ABV is available in 6 packs of 11.2 oz. bottles, as Antwerpen Stout at 8.0% ABV is available in 4 packs of 11.2 oz. bottles. To locate the Guinness Rye Pale or Guinness Antwerpen Stout, use the Guinness Locator. For those in Portland, Guinness Rye Pale is currently available as Guinness Antwerpen Stout is still making its way to the Rose City.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.