Diageo spends £73 million on London-based Guinness brewery and venue

Diageo has invested £73 million into building a Guinness microbrewery and culture hub in London’s Covent Garden.

The venue, named ‘Guinness at Old Brewer’s Yard’ is set to open in Autumn 2023 and, as well as provide space for events and local community initiatives, will create up to 150 jobs and train a further 100 bartenders annually.

The new 50,000 sq ft venue will become the southern UK hub of Diageo’s ‘Learning for Life Bartending and Hospitality Programme’ and follows the success of Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and last year’s opening of Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director, 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. Government support over the last two years has been vital for pubs and bars. Coming out of the pandemic, the long-term vitality of the trade will be significantly helped by the alcohol duty review and continued freezes in duty.”

Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, who has visited the site, said: “This multi-million-pound investment is a crucial vote of confidence in our capital. 300 years after brewing the first beer in Old Brewers 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.”

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.

Rob Abernethy, chief executive of the Mercers’ Company, added: “We have worked closely with Diageo to develop proposals which 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.”

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