Drinks group Diageo, the owner of the Guinness and Baileys brands among many others, has opened Brewhouse No. 4 at St James' Gate in Dublin.

Diageo has spent €169m on the new brewery, which is capable of producing over 2 billion pints a year.

St James' Gate is one of the oldest industrial sites in Ireland, and Diageo currently exports over €1 billion in product from the site to over 130 countries.

It also produces Guinness flavour essence, which enables the brewing of Guinness in 50 countries around the world.

The building of the new brewery was the largest construction project in Ireland in 2012 and Diageo says it is the biggest stout brewery in the world.

Diageo has closed a number of sites and cut costs and jobs in Ireland in recent years. But Paul Armstrong, the company's supply director and head of the new brewery, said this investment will secure employment in Dublin.

35% of Diageo's global beer is now produced at the St James' Gate site, with 3 million pints produced there every day. 

The new brewery brings together all Diageo's Irish brewing operations to St James' Gate. 

"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," commented Ivan Menezes, Diageo chief executive.

He said that Diageo’s operations in Ireland support the employment of 20,000 people in the Irish economy, not least through the purchase of goods and services to the value of €350m a year.