Diageo to pump £73m into new Guinness microbrewery

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

New site: the proposed plans are subject to planning permission and a consultation period
New site: the proposed plans are subject to planning permission and a consultation period

Related tags: Diageo, Guinness, Beer, Brewing

Drinks firm Diageo has announced plans to invest more than £70m into a new microbrewery and culture hub in Covent Garden, central London.

Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard is set to open in autumn next year, subject to planning permission and consultation period, and will create 150 jobs for the capital.

The new 50,000sq ft space will become the Southern UK hub of Diageo’s Learning for Life Bartending and Hospitality Programme​.

Old Brewer’s Yard first brewed beer back in 1722 and Guinness is aiming to bring the site back to life.

The new venue will cover locations linking Mercer Walk, Langley Street, Neal Street and Shelton Street.

Alongside the microbrewery, it will include event spaces and central covered courtyard, a Guinness store, rotating cuisine and events at an open-fire kitchen, restaurant and 360 degrees glass rooftop space.

New home

Guests will also have the opportunity to try new brews with some only available at Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard.

Diageo Great Britain managing director Dayalan Nayager said: “We’re excited to create a new home for Guinness in the hear of London.

‘Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard’ will strengthen London’s hospitality community and be a must-visit destination for thousands of visitors to enjoy.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak visited the site to show support for the project. He said: “This multi-million-pound investment is a crucial vote of confident in our capital. [Some] 300 years after brewing the first beer in Old Brewer’s Yard, it’s fantastic to see Guinness breathing life into our hospitality and tourism industries and creating more jobs and training opportunities in central London.”

Nayager lauded the financial aid for the sector amid the coronavirus crisis from the Government and looked to what the future holds.

He added: “Government support over the past two years has been vital for pubs and bars. Coming out of the pandemic, the long-term vitality of the trade will be significantly helped by the alcohol duty review and continued freezes in duty.”

Major boost

The site is owned by the Mercers’ Company, which was advised by Knight Frank and Jll acted on behalf of Diageo.

The Mercers’ Company chief executive Rob Abernethy said: “We are delighted to welcome Guinness to our Covent Garden estate.

“We have worked closely with Diageo to develop proposals that will restore Old Brewer’s Yard’s historic origins in a contemporary context.

“This significant level of investment is a major boost to London’s recovering economy and will provide a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, shining the spotlight on Covent Garden as a global visitor destination.”

Related topics: Beer

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