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Diageo announces new brewery site

Published:  11 September, 2008

Diageo Ireland is planning to build a new "state of the art" brewery on a 73-acre greenfield site in Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

Diageo Ireland is planning to build a new "state of the art" brewery on a 73-acre greenfield site in Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

The development marks the latest stage of the €650 million (£520 million) capital investment Diageo is making in its brewing operations in Ireland.

The company says that the proposed site, which is due to be completed in 2009, has important historical links to Arthur Guinness and his first brewery, and will be called the Arthur Guinness Brewery.

The new brewery will operate in conjunction with the remodelled St. James's Gate brewery nine miles away in Dublin. Once commissioned, all production from Kilkenny and Dundalk breweries will be transferred. The new brewery will produce Guinness to meet growing export demands and will also brew ales and lagers with a capacity of 5 million hectolitres.

The remodelled St. James's Gate will continue to brew Guinness beer primarily for the Irish and British markets and will be the second largest brewery in Ireland with a brewing capacity of 3 million hectolitres.

Arthur Guinness established his first brewery in Leixlip in 1755 before moving to St. James's Gate in 1759. Most of the proposed site, which measures around 50 acres, will be purchased from the Guinness family, direct descendents of Arthur Guinness. The remaining 23 acres of the site will be purchased, subject to Council approval from Kildare County Council.

Commenting on the announcement, Brian Duffy, Guinness global brand director and chairman of Diageo Ireland, said: "This site announcement is a truly significant decision by Diageo. Not only are we demonstrating our commitment to Ireland, we are also staying true to the roots and heritage of the Guinness brand and Arthur himself."

Gerry O'Hagan, supply director for Guinness and Baileys, added: "The choice of the location of the new brewery follows an extensive due diligence and site selection process. The new brewery is part of the single biggest capital investment made by Diageo in its supply infrastructure since the company's creation 10 years ago and will enhance the cost competitiveness of our global beer operations.

"It represents a major vote of confidence in our beer business here in Ireland as a global brewing centre of excellence for our company. We will now progress planning approval for the site as quickly as possible."