IRELAND – Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, has plans to build a €200million (US$200.74M) new state-of-the-art brewery near Newbridge in Kildare, Ireland.

The plan is still subject to planning approvals by the Kildare County Council with an application due to be made by the end of the year.

The company said it will use the facility to produce lagers and ales, freeing up capacity at its main facility at St James’s Gate in Dublin to allow it to produce more stout for global markets.

The brewery, which will be the second largest in the country, will be capable of producing 2 million hectolitres of beer a year, once operations start in 2024.

The plant will also be completely powered by renewable energy and will use the latest technology to reduce its water and energy consumption as much as possible, Diageo noted.

The multinational beverage alcohol company estimates that this will enable it to avoid carbon emissions of up to 15,000 metric tonnes yearly.

Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny, and Carlsberg are among the named brands to be produced in the new facility.

Colin O’Brien, Category Head – Global Beer Supply, Diageo said: “Our plans for a new, state-of-the-art brewery in Kildare, and the developments at St James’s Gate, will enable growth in overall beer exports from Ireland.”

“We are fully committed to embedding sustainability across our business from grain to glass.”

 He added that this announcement represents the next step in the integrated approach toward achieving one of Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress commitments by becoming carbon neutral in our direct operations.

The unveiling of the expansion project is occurring at a time when Ireland has returned the highest organic net sales and the largest increase in Guinness consumption in all of Europe in the latter half of 2021, according to new figures released by Diageo.

Net sales of Guinness grew by over 76%, benefitting from the partial recovery of the on-trade as Irish Government restrictions eased during the first half of Diageo’s financial year.

This growth was also driven by resilient consumer demand in the off-trade channel “where Diageo continued to gain market share”, the beer giant said.

Net sales of beer grew 44%, driven by a strong increase in Guinness with the continuing easement of on-trade restrictions, reported the company.

With strong organic growth that was up by 20%, partially offset by an adverse foreign exchange impact, Diageo was able to deliver strong net sales growth across all regions with reported net sales up 16% to £8 billion (US$8.03B)

The global brewer and distiller reported an Operating Profit of £2.7 billion for H1, up 22.5% or up 24.7% organically.

Sustainability partnership for grain supplies

Meanwhile, Diageo has strengthened its sustainability efforts after entering into a partnership with the Teagasc Signpost program, Heineken Ireland, Irish Distillers, William Grant & Sons, and drinks Ireland.

The partnership will focus on further reducing the environmental footprint of grain production, which is key to underpinning the future sustainability needs of Ireland’s drinks industry.

The partnership is also intended to lead and support the transition toward climate-smart cropping systems that advance reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while maximizing carbon sequestration.

Some of the indicators of success set will include; establishing ground cover for spring cereal production, and exploiting all appropriate IPM measures available to reduce pesticide use on farms.

It also extends to developing a plan to improve fertilizer use efficiency while replacing chemical fertilizers by up to 20% with organic manure as well as implementing a soil C enhancement program.

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