Diageo £73m Guinness microbrewery

Source: Diageo

The new 50,000 sq ft venue would create up to 150 jobs and provide ‘a community space’

Diageo is to splash £73m on a new Guinness microbrewery and ‘culture hub’ in London’s Covent Garden.

Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard will open in autumn 2023, “bringing the site back to life” 300 years after beer was first brewed there in 1722, it said.

The new 50,000 sq ft venue would create up to 150 jobs and provide “a community space within the Covent Garden area”, Diageo added.

It will also become the Southern UK hub of Diageo’s ‘Learning for Life’ bartending and hospitality programme.

Diageo plans to train up over 100 London-based students at the site each year, with a proportion of employment opportunities to be ring-fenced for graduates of the programme.

The investment would build on the success of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and the opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh in 2021, it said.

It demonstrated Diageo’s confidence in London as a tourist destination and its commitment to the hospitality sector, it added.

“We’re excited to create a new home for Guinness in the heart of London”, said Diageo GB MD Dayalan Nayager.

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

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This multimillion-pound investment is a crucial vote of confidence in our capital.”

It was “fantastic to see Guinness breathing life into our hospitality and tourism industries and creating more jobs and training opportunities in central London”, he added. 

It comes after Diageo this month reported net sales for the six months to 31 December grew 15.8% to £8bn, as its recovery in the on-trade was boosted by market share gains and premiumisation trends.