Guinness owner's new brewery opened
The world's biggest stout brewery has opened at St James's Gate.
Guinness owner Diageo cut the ribbon on the 169 million euro Brewhouse No.4 on the banks of the Liffey in Dublin city centre.
The facility is 10,000m sq and will see the 255-year-old, 55 acre site produce more than one third of the drinks' giant's worldwide beer production along with the secret Guinness flavour essence for breweries in 50 other countries.
It is also the fourth brewery on the historic site since Arthur Guinness signed the famous 9,000 year lease in 1759.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny did the honours at a special opening ceremony at the brewery.
"St James's Gate has a long history of supporting local jobs while sending iconic Irish brands around the world," he said.
"The Government's plan for recovery will see continued support for our indigenous export orientated food and drink sector which provides jobs across the island of Ireland."
The plan to revamp and invest at St James's Gate was taken after an initial proposal to build a super-brewery by the Liffey in Leixlip, Co Kildare - beside the original home of Guinness - was ditched.
Diageo announced the original plan for a 650 million euro facility in 2008 only for the decision to be reviewed the following year.
Diageo pumps out three million pints a day and exports more than one billion euro worth of product from St James's Gate to more than 130 countries each year.
The company said the new facility is one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable in the world.
Ivan Menezes, Diageo chief executive, said: "Our decision back in late 2011 to invest in St James's Gate represented a 169 million euro vote of confidence by Diageo in Guinness and in our beer business.
"It also represented a major vote of confidence in the Irish economy itself."
Diageo said its Irish operations support 20,000 jobs in the local economy.
Mr Menezes added: "By consolidating all of our operations to one site Diageo is ensuring the long term sustainability and global competitiveness of our brewing operations. Brewhouse No.4 will support the growth in our exports' market and Diageo's ambitions for further growth."
Paul Armstrong, Diageo supply director brewing, said: "Diageo is very proud of its long history in St James's Gate. Today with this progressive brewery we are securing the future of brewing in Ireland.
"I am very proud that we remain true to our history, our heritage and our craft and that St James's Gate will continue to be the home of brewing innovation for Diageo long into the future."