Diageo has announced plans to invest £73 million (€87.5 million) in a new microbrewery and culture hub – Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard – in Covent Garden, London.
The site is set to open in the autumn of 2023, subject to planning permission and a consultation period.
The investment builds on the success of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and the opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh in 2021.
The 50,000 square-foot venue will create up to 150 jobs and provide a community space within the Covent Garden area, Diageo added.
'A Must-Visit Destination'
Managing director of Diageo Great Britain, Dayalan Nayager, 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."
The Old Brewer’s Yard, owned by the Mercers’ Company, first brewed beer in 1722 and Guinness will bring it back to life 300 years later.
Rob Abernethy, chief executive of the Mercers’ Company, said, "We are delighted to welcome Guinness to our Covent Garden estate. We have worked closely with Diageo to develop proposals that will restore Old Brewer’s Yard’s historic origins in a contemporary context.
"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 the spotlight on Covent Garden as a global visitor destination. 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."
Microbrewery And Culture Hub
The microbrewery at the site will produce limited-edition beers and offer visitors tours with Guinness beer specialists, allowing them to taste and learn about the stout, its history and ambitions for the future.
It will offer guests a chance to try new brews, some of which will be exclusive to the Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard.
The venue will also feature event spaces and a central covered courtyard for hosting events focusing on food, drink, the arts and special cultural occasions.
The site will also serve as the Southern UK hub of Diageo’s 'Learning for Life' bartending and hospitality programme.
The ambition is for over 100 London-based students to graduate from the ‘Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard’ programme each year, with a proportion of the employment opportunities to be ring-fenced for Learning for Life graduates.
Guinness sales in Great Britain have grown by over 30% in the last six months, according to data from Diageo, and one in every 10 pints sold in London is now a Guinness.