This round's on us – Diageo targets 40 million pints a week
NOT even the party-loving Irish could hope to consume 40 million pints of beer every week, but that is to be the new capacity of the Diageo brewing operation at St James's Gate.
Fortunately the rest of the world will be giving us a hand to get through the black stuff when the company's €153m expansion project is finally completed this June.
Over the next few days, Diageo will be moving 27 massive brewing vessels through the city in the early hours of the morning.
And those late-night revellers, who have had one too many themselves, may think they are hallucinating as a convoy of giant steel containers, each one capable of holding one million pints, crawls through the city streets at about 4kmh.
The route for the 300m long convoy has been carefully mapped out in order to avoid any low bridges or other obstructions which could damage the valuable vessels. Each one of the containers, which are up to 85ft in length and up to 28 tonnes each in weight , is worth in the region of €500,000.
They arrived in Dun Laoghaire harbour over the weekend and have been washed free of salt and prepared for their escort through the city centre, an operation which will take place in the early hours of the morning to limit disruption to traffic.
Diageo supply chain director Paul Armstrong said the importation of the vessels is a "big symbol" of our confidence in the Irish brewing operation.
Construction of the expansion programme at St James's Gate started in early summer 2012 and the plant will start production in June 2013.
The building project, by Sisk civil contractors, has seen 300 people employed at the site, with that figure rising to 650 at the project's peak.
About 1,000 workers are permanently employed at the Diageo brewing operation in Dublin, producing a range of beers for export to 150 markets around the world.