Friday, May 09, 2008

Let There Be Dancing In The Streets

St. James Gate lives on.

Drinks conglomerate Diageo has decided that they will continue to brew Guinness where it has been brewed for the past 250 years. The grand and glorious pile at St. James Gate will not be shuttered after all. Lift a pint of the black stuff and rejoice.

What is good news for Dublin is sorrow for Kilkenny and Dundalk, where a couple of satellite facilities have been percolating to meet global demand. At a time when job losses in Ireland are climbing, the addition of 250 able-bodied workers to the unemployment rolls is not welcome news.

The Guinness Storehouse at St. James Gate is a huge tourist attraction, and the demise of a drinker's beauty spot would have marred the Diageo reputation. In addition, any potential overseas clients could have been lost if they didn't have a chance to sample the tasty beverage from the top of the visitor center, looking out over Dublin. As a business decision, it made sense to keep the original site up and running as part of an overall marketing strategy.

There's still money to be made in stout, ale and lager. Diageo plans to build a new brewery somewhere in Dublin, to expand on their export production. Sales are down in Ireland, but the rest of the world is guzzling Guinness like never before. With one new and bigger brewery, Diageo is expecting to need fewer employees while increasing production, making for a decrease in overhead and an increase in profit.


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