Diageo breathes life to former Guinness brewing site with US$98m investment  

UK – British multinantional alcoholic beverages maker Diageo has announced plans to invest £73m ($98.38m) into reviving operations at a former Guinness brewery in Covent Garden, London.  

The maker of Guinness beer plans to convert the site which was used to brew beer back in the 1700s into a microbrewery and culture hub. 

Named ‘Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard’, the new facility is set to open in Autumn 2023.  

It will produce limited-edition beers and offer guests tours with Guinness beer specialists to taste/enjoy and learn about the stout, its history, and ambitions for the future. 

It’s establishment builds on the success of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and the opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh in 2021; as well as the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, USA.  

Diageo says the new investment shows its confidence in London and the wider hospitality and tourism sector. 

The company noted that sales of Guinness in Great Britain have grown by 30% over the last six months with one in every 10 pints sold in the capital now a Guinness.  

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The new 50,000 sq ft venue will create up to 150 jobs for the Capital and provide a community space within the Covent Garden area.

More than a microbrewery 

The site will also become the Southern UK hub of Diageo’s Learning for Life Bartending and Hospitality Program. 

Diageo has an ambitious target of having 100 students graduate from the ‘Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard’ program each year.  

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The facility will also have event spaces and a central covered courtyard hosting events across food, drink, the arts and special cultural occasions, which will be open for use by the local community.  

A Guinness store selling rare items via collaborations and partnerships bespoke to the London experience will also be located at the site. 

Diageo plans to make the site, which offers rotating cuisines and events at a stunning open-fire kitchen, restaurant, and 360 degrees glass rooftop space, carbon neutral by 2030. 

Earlier, Diageo said that first-half sales rose nearly 16% as more consumers bought high-end spirits and bars increased orders as they reopened after coronavirus lockdowns. 

Operating profit increased by 22.5% to 2.7 billion pounds ($3.62 billion) in the six months to Dec. 31, with its operating margin up by 190 basis points. 

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