The new facility will brew lagers and ales for export to some 150 markets and when fully operational with a capacity of two million hectolitres, will be the second-largest brewing operation in Ireland after St James’s Gate.
The development will also support the future growth of Diageo Ireland’s beer brands as Rockshore, Harp, Hop House13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Carlsberg move from their Dublin brewery base to the new site.
The move will allow St James’s Gate to concentrate on Guinness – both alcoholic and 0.0% – by freeing up the space vacated by the other brands. As the production of lagers and ales is transferred to the new facility it will enable St James’s Gate to increase the production of Guinness to meet global demand.
Up to 1,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase and once built, it will employ 50 as well as “many indirect jobs too”.
Kildare’s state-of-the-art brewery will be powered by 100% renewable energy and will harness the latest process technology to minimise overall energy and water consumption. This will enable the brewery to avoid up to 15,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
“Today is a landmark day for Diageo in Ireland,” said Colin O’Brien, Category Head – Global Beer Supply, Diageo, on announcing the development, “Our plans for a new, state-of-the-art brewery in Kildare and the developments at St James’s Gate will enable growth in overall beer exports from Ireland.”
These presently account for about 35% of ales and lagers and 70% of stout produced here.
“We’re fully committed to embedding sustainability across our business from grain to glass and this announcement represents the next step in our integrated approach towards achieving one of Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress commitments by becoming carbon neutral in our direct operations.”
“There’s a great road network” he told The Irish Times, “there’s good access to Dublin Port, it’s really close to our main supplier of malt and we’re in the barley-growing region.
“Also, there’s kind of a heritage link with Kildare as Arthur Guinness was born there.”
Diageo intends submitting a planning application to Kildare County Council this September and if successful, plans to commence brewing in 2024.