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Guinness opening microbrewery and 'culture hub' in London

Diageo is investing £73 million to create a Guinness microbrewery and 'culture hub' in central London.

'Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard' will be located on a site in Covent Garden which has a brewing heritage dating back to the 18th century. The development is set to open in autumn 2023, subject to planning permission.

The new 50,000 sq ft venue will include: a microbrewery producing limited-edition beers and offering guest tours; event spaces and a covered central courtyard, which will be open for use by the local community; a Guinness store selling rare items via collaborations and partnerships bespoke to the London experience; and an open-fire kitchen, restaurant, and rooftop space with 360-degree panoramic views. 

The venue is expected to create up to 150 jobs, and it will also become the southern UK hub of Diageo's Learning for Life bartending and hospitality programme, with hopes that more than 100 people a year will graduate from the 'Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard' programme.

It follows other successful visitor experience investments for Diageo, including Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Diageo said the move also demonstrates its confidence in London as a tourist destination - a city where one in every 10 pints sold is now a Guinness, according to data from CGA.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director of Diageo Great Britain, said: "We're excited to create a new home for Guinness in the heart 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."

In line with Diageo's global sustainability action plan, 'Guinness at Old Brewer's Yard' will be carbon neutral by 2030. The company will also be consulting with local residents to build a community programme for the venue.

Proposals for the development have been designed in partnership between Diageo and the Mercers' Company, which owns Old Brewer's Yard.

Rob Abernethy, CEO of the Mercers' Company, added: "The significant level of investment is a major boost to London's recovering economy and will provide a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, shining a light on Covent Garden as a gobal visitor destination."

31 January 2022 - Bethany Whymark