In 2013, Diageo turned to us to create an innovation platform for the 250-year-old legendary Guinness brand. At the time, craft was becoming the center of the beer universe. Our goal was to reconnect the Guinness brand to the beer.
After visiting the brewery and digging through the archives, we were inspired to turn its long-functioning Dublin pilot brewery into a taproom, where customers could enjoy creative beers in the midst of the actual brewing operation, grounding the rich mythos of the brand in the energy of craft. The result was the creation of the first Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin. For the first time in six years, sales are up in Ireland so it was clearly a massive success that led to a Singapore Open Gate Platform, a Baltimore Open Gate Brewery, and a Chicago Taproom is under-construction and scheduled to open St. Paddy’s Day 2023. Most importantly, the Open Gate platform fuels the overall Guinness portfolio, while opening new space for innovation. It has allowed Guinness to grow by innovation, rather than acquisition– a rare feat for global legacy beer companies. As the lead creative agency, we will continue with packaging, retail materials, and all above-the-line content.