Kildare gives green light to new Diageo brewery

Project will create up to 1,000 jobs in construction phase

Kildare County Council has given the green light to Guinness-maker Diageo for a new €200 million brewery on a greenfield site at Littleconnell, near Newbridge.

The new brewery will provide a major jobs boost to the Kildare area, providing up to 1,000 jobs during the 20-month construction period and will lead to the creation of a further 70 when operational.

The facility, which will operate 24 hours per day, 365 days a year is to brew lagers and ales including Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Carlsberg.

When fully operational, with a capacity of 2 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.


The carbon-neutral brewery is to be built on a 21.36 hectare site at the IDA Newbridge Business and Technology Park to the east of a Lidl distribution centre. The main brewery will be 9,148sq m and include a brew house, storage and handling areas.

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. 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 it will enable St James’s Gate to increase the production of Guinness to meet global demand.

Planning documentation lodged with the application said that Guinness considered five other sites in Dublin and Kildare for the brewery but were discounted for a variety of environmental, planning and commercial reasons.

The documentation also said that along with the 70 jobs when operational, the brewery will also indirectly provide additional jobs in sectors such as transport, maintenance and the supplying of goods and services.

There was one objection to the proposed development.

John Lynch, of Cloney, Athy, said that the proposal for Littleconnell should be rejected and be built instead in Athy on environmental grounds.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times