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Monday, June 18, 2007

Evening Standard: Guinness Might Shutter St James's Gate

According to a report from London in the Evening Standard, drinks giant Diageo is mulling over the idea of halting production at St James's Gate in Dublin, where they have been brewing beer for nearly 250 years.

The speculation is that Diageo might sell the brewery to property developers. The company would take the profits from the sale and move production outside of Dublin. While news of this move might at first sound unbelievable, the reality is that sales of Guinness in Ireland have dropped. During the first six months of 2007, overall European sales for Guinness are down 7 percent.

St James's Gate has been part of the Guinness marketing lore and the brewery is one of the top tourist attractions in all of Ireland. Guinness Stout sold in the U.S. is made at St James's Gate. Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on the 64-acre Dublin site in 1759. The first Guinness beer to use the word Stout on the label appeared around 1820.

The St James's Gate property is estimated to be worth as much as $4.1 billion.


Stonch said...

In fact, Rick, Guinness "Stout" has been in production for less than 170 years, not 250. It seems Diageo would like us to believe otherwise, but a beer named "Guinness Extra Stout Porter" first appeared around 1840.

Rick Lyke said...


Thanks, you're right and I've corrected my post. I appreciate your fact checking help!

I believe from some references that Guinness used the "stout" word on some labels in the 1820s and then started a more permanent reference to their product as you have outlined around 1840. Sometime later they dropped the word porter.

I owe you a beer!


Stonch said...

I'm on a one man mission to demystify Guinness!