Diageo to lodge €200m Kildare brewery plans

Brewing giant wants to build carbon-neutral facility in Newbridge

Brewing giant Diageo will on Friday lodge plans with Kildare County Council for a new €200 million brewery for a greenfield site at Littleconnell in Newbridge.

Up to 1,000 jobs are to be created during the two-year construction period of the brewery, which will lead to the creation of a further 50 jobs when operational.

The new facility will brew lagers and ales including Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Carlsberg.

When fully operational with a capacity of two million hectolitres, the brewery will be the second largest brewing operation in Ireland after Diageo’s operation at St. James’s Gate and support the future growth of Diageo Ireland’s beer brands.

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A planning notice published on Thursday confirmed that Diageo Ireland’s carbon-neutral brewery will be built on a 21.36 hectare site at the IDA Newbridge Business and Technology Park.

The site is located to the east of Lidl’s Distribution Centre. The notice states that the main brewery will be 9,148 m2 including a brew house, storage and handling areas.

The height of the building will reach to 24.3 metres. Diageo Ireland is to lodge an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with the large-scale planning application.

The state-of-the-art brewery is to be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy and will harness the latest process technology to minimise overall energy and water consumption.

The notice states that the development includes a ‘renewable heating plant building’.

This will enable the brewery to avoid up to 15,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

As the production of lagers and ales is transferred to the new facility, St James’s Gate will have capacity increase the production of Guinness to meet global demand.

The lodging of the planning application coincides with two major proposed developments for Diageo Ireland’s HQ here at St James Gate currently being before Dublin City Council.

In the ‘Guinness Quarter’ plan, property developer Ballymore has submitted a planning application to develop a 12.5 lagers site that includes 336 housing units, a hotel, a 300-seat performance space, a food hall and marketplace, commercial works spaces and more than two acres of landscaped public spaces.

A separate application is also before the council to repurpose Brewhouse 2 on the site into a new Irish headquarters for Diageo.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times