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The Guinness Brewery, St James's Gate, Dublin. Brewing Guinness since 1759

The history of the Guinness family company is celebrated as an important part in the history of Dublin. Arthur Guinness began brewing beer in 1759. He and his family had a reputation for philanthropic activities, which included providing parks and housing for Dublin's poor in the 19th century, when governments relied on private beneficence to enable public services to exist. Diageo’s website celebrates this element of the history of Guinness and links it with its own current policy of social responsibility [1].

St James's Gate

Recent plans to close the Guinness brewery in Dublin have been controversial, however Diageo believe they have managed to find a compromise that will mean the brewery remains in operation. The £520 modernisation plan will mean hundreds of job losses Diageo plan to build a new brewerey on the outskirts of Dublin, two smaller breweries will be closed, Kilkenny and Dundalk and at the historic St James's Gate brewery operations will be reduced by half. Guinness has been brewed at this location on the banks of the River Liffey for almost 250 years The plan is for St James's Gate to continue to produce Guinness for Ireland and the UK. Paul Walsh, Diageo's chief executive, said that the plan reaffirmed the company's commitment to Guinness and to its "spiritual home" in Dublin. It was estimated that the sale of the Dublin brewery could raise as much as £2bn for Diageo but Walsh insists that the firm has listened to people and have recognised the importance of the history of Guinness in Ireland and beyond, Diageo is to close half of its famous Guinness brewery in Dublin as part of a £520m modernisation plan that will cost hundreds of jobs. But St James's Gate will continue to produce the popular stout for sale in Ireland and the UK – as it has done for almost 250 years on the banks of the River Liffey. Walsh insists that the firm have listened to people and have recognised the importance of the history of Guinness in Ireland and beyond. The Guinness museum at St James's Gate is Ireland's most visited tourist attraction. Building the new Dublin factory, whose site has not yet been determined, is expected to cost £520m. It is scheduled to open in 2013 and will brew Guinness for international markets such as Africa, where demand is soaring. Last year, Nigeria overtook Ireland for Guinness consumption, making it the second-largest market after the UK [2]

Furthermore, retaining the St James operation is also a useful marketing strategy. Guinness have a product, distributed world wide called 'essence of Guinness'. This is Guinness brewed in Dublin at St James’s Gate and shipped to its overseas breweries where it is added to the Guinness brewed there. The company then claim that a little bit of Ireland is in every pint. [3].


  1. Diageo Website Our History accessed 6th June 2008
  2. The Guardian, 9th May 2008, Dublin's Guinness factory saved by sentiment accessed 6th June 2008
  3. John Murray Brown, Financial Times, 9th May 2008 Diageo bucks European trend accessed 6th June 2008