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Meet Kate Curran who leads the team behind Diageos Guinness

Meet Kate Curran who leads the team behind Diageo's Guinness

 March 16, 2022

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From the female entrepreneurs of the eighteenth century to the appointment of Diageo's first female Johnnie Walker Master Blender, women continue to play a critical role in shaping the success of Diageo

Meet Kate Curran, the scientist who leads the team behind the legendary formula for Guinness.

“I know the secret recipe in Guinness!” she says.

Five generations of Kate’s family have worked behind the famous Guinness black gates in Dublin. Kate is the first woman within those five generations to work for Diageo.

Kate shares how Diageo has supported her on her journey.

Preserving and protecting Diageo's Guinness secret recipe

Chemistry and beer might not seem the most likely of combinations, but for Kate, science was the start to a career she’d always dreamed of. She studied Chemistry and Biomedical Diagnostics before falling in love with brewing. Today Kate is Guinness’ Flavour Essence Manager and the scientist who leads the team that preserves and protects Diageo's legendary Guinness secret recipe and supplies it to 50 markets worldwide.

Managing a team of male and female brewers

Diageo brewer

Kate and her team oversee the raw materials used to make Guinness through the production process, quality testing, and then into packaging before it leaves St James’ Gate. After 12 years working her way up through various roles, she manages a team of male and female brewers and everyday use her knowledge of science, engineering, brewing, quality control, and problem-solving that she’s learned throughout her career.

“I’m physically quite small which can sometimes lead to not being seen as strong as others. My attitude is if you want to do something, do it. Diageo is a safe space to grow, I’ve always been encouraged to embrace my strengths, have my own voice and succeed.” she adds.

Coming from a long line of Guinness brewers 

As the first woman from a family of five successive generations to work for Guinness, Kate has heard tales, and seen photographs from St James’ Gate as far back as the 1850’s. Before Kate her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great, great-grandfather all held roles in the Guinness team.

Kate’s father, who worked for Guinness for 42 years, started as a mechanical fitter apprentice in 1969 before working his way up to be responsible for managing the maintenance of the equipment in the keg plant as the keg plant manager. He worked closely with Kate’s grandfather who started in 1938 as a mechanical fitter.

Kate’s great-grandfather started in 1894 in the Guinness lab, and her great, great-grandfather worked for Guinness as a mechanical fitter in 1857, all passing down centuries worth of Guinness knowledge to Kate and her family.  

“St James’s Gate is steeped in history and it’s special to know that generations of my family have brewed here before me. But if you thought the brewery was a place just for men, think again. My advice is don’t let anything put you off your dream career.”

Find your dream career at Diageo

Kate is just one of many talented women at Diageo who are proud of where they work and the impact they make on the industry.

Discover your perfect job role with Diageo.


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