Guinness considers closing original brewery

June 18th, 2007 | Posted by Real Beer

Guinness breweryMight Guinness close its St. James’s Gate brewery, where the famous stout was first brewed in 1759?

The Sunday Independent reports owner Diageo might move the brewery to a new site to the north of the city and sell the existing property for as much as 3 billion euros ($4 billion).

The company is “considering a number of important investment decisions on upgrading and renewing its brewing facilities in Ireland in the coming years,” Diageo replied in a statement today. “No decisions have been made or will be made until the assessment is completed.”

The St. James’s Gate brewery exports Guinness extract, the “essence” of the drink, to more than 45 countries. The brewery also makes all Guinness for Ireland and the U.K.

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10 Responses to “Guinness considers closing original brewery”

  1. Greg Hopkins Says:

    Well they are certainly welcome to move the sacred brewing grounds on over to my house. No rent just beer!

  2. Michael Leahy Says:

    Hoegaarden is no longer brewed in Hoegaarden. What is the world coming to? Should we care?

  3. Terrence Pierce Says:

    It’s always a shame to see history disappear,but, if they feel it is really necessary, so be it.

  4. Dr. Doug Says:

    Tis a shame indeed, but economics are real, and 3B Euro is nothing to scoff at. It would be good to give some of the profit to charity, BTW, I am a charitable cause :-)

  5. spencer Says:

    With all due respect to Michael Leahy and to Hoegaarden, the history and mystique of Guinness significantly eclipses that of Hoegaarden. The reason this is a big deal is that people are more aware of the historical and cultural significance of the Guinness brewery (whether this is due to anything more than extremely shrewd marketing is an open question) than they are of Hoegaarden, or indeed of most other brands.

    Still, as sad as it might be to lose this tangible, physical link to the beginnings of such a proud brewing tradition, Dr. Doug is right. It’s tough to argue with 3B Euro, especially when your argument rests on something as intangible as a sense of history.

  6. Brent Says:

    It is the only brewery that I know of that has a 9000 year old lease. Guinness is always ready and willing to tell there proud story that started in 1759 but I don’t know how anyone with a conscience could even think of selling it for any amout of money.

  7. Paul Says:

    As Brent states, they have a lease.They can’t sell for any amount, they don’t own it.Besides, their lease is for something like a dollar a year, it wouldn’t make sense to pick up a mortgage or new lease for more.They might decide to move the brewery though.

  8. Rick Says:

    Yes, that’s a ton of money, but what a shame it will be if the St. James Gate is no longer synonymous with the Guinness brewery. If they want to leave to go to a more modern site with more capacity I would hope they would turn the St. James Gate site into a Guinness museum – like what Heineken did in Amsterdam.

  9. Jim McCoy Says:

    The lease is $45 a year, and to move it seems not right. It is a monument that stands for the best beer in the world. Although 3b is much money, it just isnt right

  10. Bernie Kilkelly Says:

    The days of the St. James gate Brewery are numbered, because profits will always trump tradition when shareholders must be pleased. This was shown last year when Young’s Brewing, a public company in London, sold its Rams Brewery in Wandsworth where brewing had started in 1581. Young’s sold its real estate for millions, not billions, but the rationale was the same and as long as the product doesn’t suffer most drinkers don’t pay much attention. It is always a shame when a piece of brewing history is lost, but visitors to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate aren’t really seeing much of the brewery anyway, just a fancy showroom that they’ll probably keep where it is.