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Our history

Our predecessor companies – for example Guinness, Grand Metropolitan, Seagram and Justerini & Brooks – are great icons of the drinks world and renowned for philanthropic works. Diageo has not only inherited great brands, but also their ideals and ethos which run through everything we do today.

  1. 1608 Licence granted to Bushmills area of Country Antrim, Ireland
  2. 1749 Our oldest predecessor company, Justerini & Brooks – wine merchants, and blenders of the famous J&B whisky range – is founded in London
  3. 1758 José Antonio Cuervo produces tequila on local land in Mexico granted to him by the King of Spain
  4. 1759 Arthur Guinness signs 9,000-year lease on the now world famous St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin
  5. 1820 John Walker’s grocery business opens in Kilmarnock, Scotland
  6. 1830 Charles Tanqueray opens a gin distillery in London
  7. 1864 PA Smirnoff opens a distillery in Russia and begins making his own vodka
  8. 1883 Joseph E. Seagram & Sons is formed in Ontario, Canada
  9. 1930s Seagram runs first ads promoting responsible drinking
  10. 1939 Crown Royal created to celebrate the historic visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Canada
  11. 1974 Launch of Baileys, widely regarded as the industry’s most successful product launch ever
  12. 1982 Grand Metropolitan sets up ‘Tomorrow’s People’ which has helped over 400,000 unemployed and young people in deprived neighbourhoods
  13. 1989 Guinness UDV and Grand Metropolitan are founding members of the Portman Group to promote responsible marketing in the United Kingdom – Diageo now supports 18 such social aspect groups worldwide.
  14. 1991 Grand Metropolitan and Guinness are among the founding members of the Century Council, a not-for-profit group funded by distillers to promote responsible drinking in North America
  15. 1992 Grand Metropolitan sets up The Foyer Federation to meet the challenge of rising youth unemployment and homelessness
  16. 1994 Grand Metropolitan is a founder member of the London Benchmarking Group which aims to improve the measurement, management and reporting of community investment

    Guinness UDV and Grand Metropolitan are founding members of the International Center for Alcohol Policies whose mission is to encourage dialogue and pursue partnerships involving the beverage alcohol industry, governments, and the public health community with the aim of helping reduce alcohol abuse around the world
  17. 1997 Diageo is established as a merger between Guinness UDV and Grand Metropolitan

    Diageo launches the Diageo Foundation
    Diageo signs the Dublin Principles providing ethical guidance to all concerned with alcohol consumption (industry, public health officials, researchers, and others)
  18. 2002 Diageo signs the UN Global Compact
  19. 2003 Diageo writes its first social / environmental report, leading the industry
  20. 2006 Diageo joins the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and makes its first annual submission
  21. 2008 Diageo publicly launches challenging environmental targets

    Diageo launches DRINKiQ.com

    Diageo signs the CEO Water Mandate

    Diageo launches Learning for Life, its flagship community investment programme in Latin America and Caribbean
  22. 2010 Diageo commits, together with other international beverage alcohol producers, to Global Actions on Harmful Drinking, a consortium of global and local initiatives dedicated to helping reduce the harmful use of alcohol with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries
  23. 2011 Diageo launches its Sustainability & Responsibility Strategy

    Diageo signs the Cancun Communiqué

    Diageo joins the CDP Supply Chain Project

    Diageo acquires 100% of the equity share capital of Mey İçki in Turkey (principal brands: Yeni raki, Terkirdağraki and Istanblue vodka)
  24. 2012 Diageo acquires 100% of the equity share capital of Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia (principal brand: Meta beer)

    Diageo gained control of Shuijingfang in China (principal brand: Shui Jing Fang Chinese white spirit)

    Diageo acquires 100% of the equity share capital of Ypióca Agroindustrial Limitada in Brazil (principal brand: Ypióca cachaça)