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Guinness brings brewery back to Ireland

September 15, 2008
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Irish beer giant Guinness is going back to its country roots. The Associated Press reports that the company announced it will build its new flagship brewery west of Dublin in the town of Leixlip -- where Arthur Guinness began brewing the famed dark-brown stout in 1755. The choice of Leixlip caught most observers by surprise. Recent Irish press speculation had focused on two other suburban Dublin locations. The deal-clincher appeared to be that most of the brewery will be built on 50 acres of land owned by the Guinness family. Another 23 acres is being purchased from the Kildare County Council. Terms of the land sale were not disclosed. Confirmation of the Leixlip move represents the next step in a euro650 million plan by Guinness owner Diageo PLC to prune costs and boost efficiencies at the Irish institution in the face of increased competition from Eastern Europe and Asia. The company plans to cut Guinness'' brewing staff in Ireland by more than half, shut two breweries in the towns of Dundalk and Kilkenny, and reduce Guinness production at its Dublin brewery by 2013. Future Guinness operations are to be focused on the Leixlip plant. It will take on production of several beer brands as well as the secret-recipe "essence" extract that Guinness ships to its nearly 50 stout breweries worldwide. The existing Dublin brewery will be responsible exclusively for brewing stout for the Irish and British markets.

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