09 May 2024

Diageo finally gets green light for Irish brewery

Ireland | Obtaining planning permission is notoriously difficult in Ireland and even more so in rural areas. Diageo, the owner of Guinness, may have been a bit overambitious when it announced in 2022 that its new EUR 200 million brewery on the island would be operational this year.

Now it looks as if Diageo can call itself lucky to start construction of its “carbon-neutral” brewery project this year as the last objector has withdrawn his proceedings, media reported on 1 May.

In July 2022, Diageo first aired its plan to build a 2 million hl brewery on a greenfield site outside of Newbridge (County Kildare), a town some 60 km southwest of Dublin. The world’s leading drinks firm said then that construction should take about 20 months. The brewery, which will use renewable energy, would create about 1 000 jobs during construction and 70 direct jobs when operational.

In terms of size, it would be second largest brewery in Ireland after Diageo’s St James’s Gate, Diageo added. By transferring the production of lagers and ales to the new facility, St James’s Gate would be able to increase the production of Guinness stout to meet global demand.

Move it to the malting barley capital

In March 2023, Kildare County Council granted planning permission for the project. In December, An Bord Pleanala, an appeals board, reaffirmed the decision. But a sole objector remained. John Lynch, 74, a farmer and undertaker from Athy, a place 25 km south of Newbridge, believed that the brewery should instead be built in his home town, due to environmental and job concerns for Athy. The town is also the malting barley capital of Ireland.

After some mediation talks with Diageo, Mr Lynch withdrew his High Court challenge. Perhaps it was Diageo’s promise to consider Athy as a possible location for future developments that made him change his mind?

Brauwelt International Newsletter

Newsletter archive and information

Mandatory field