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.