Words: Shamim de Brún
The new Guinness microbrewery will be an €87 million event space, store and restaurant in Covent Garden London.
Diageo will build the 50,000 sq ft Guinness complex at Old Brewer’s Yard. It is due to open in Autumn 2023 and will create 150 jobs. Old Brewer’s Yard, which first brewed beer back in 1722 and is currently owned by the Mercers’ Company, will cover locations linking Mercer Walk, Langley Street, Neal Street and Shelton Street.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in an interview with the London Standard, “Three hundred 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.”
Guinness’s owner, the drinks multinational Diageo, said the investment demonstrates its “confidence in London and the UK as a go-to destination for tourists and its commitment to the hospitality sector, which employs almost 2 million people in the UK”.
Guinness sales in Great Britain have grown by over 30 per cent in the last six months. One in every 10 pints sold in London is now a Guinness. According to Statistica, there are approximately three hundred and seventy thousand Irish people living in London.
The new site will include a microbrewery producing limited-edition beers and offering tours with Guinness beer specialists; event spaces and a central covered courtyard; a Guinness store selling rare items, and an open-fire kitchen, restaurant and 360 degrees glass rooftop space.
Rob Abernethy, chief executive of the Mercers’ Company, said in a press release: “We have worked closely with Diageo to develop proposals which will restore Old Brewer’s Yard’s historical origins in a contemporary context. The significant level of investment is a major boost to London’s recovering economy. It will provide a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, shining the spotlight on Covent Garden as a global visitor destination. In addition, old Brewer’s Yard will provide a wonderful platform for the Mercers’ Company to continue its philanthropic work, helping to create positive change so that everyone has the chance to lead a fulfilling life.”
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