If you needed further confirmation that the Irish whiskey business is primed for continued growth, with the US the major target, then a recent announcement out of Ireland of a newish distillery should serve as a reminder.
Paul Armstrong of Diageo and Irish Whiskey Company director John Teeling
at the Great Northern Brewery in Dundalk. Photograph: Keith Arkins
Diageo and the Irish Whiskey Company (IWC) announced that they have entered into an agreement in principal to turn over the former’s facility, Great Northern Brewery, to IWC in early 2014.
IWC intend to produce whiskey using some of the existing equipment, and will be making a significant investment in modifying and adapting it and adding specialized whiskey distilling equipment. Distilling is expected to start in the third quarter of 2014 with the first mature whiskey available for delivery in late 2017. The site will supply grain, pot still and malt whiskey to private label and bulk whiskey buyers as well as to the emerging craft distilling sector.
IWC, owned mostly by the Teeling Family of Cooley Distillery fame, will be filling a void left when Beam Global, which purchased their brands, decided to cease selling off whiskey to those brands without their own distilleries.
John Teeling, Director, IWC, said “Irish Whiskey sales continue to grow at double digit rates – a trend that is expected to continue. As the industry grows segments emerge. IWC will supply segments not currently served at all or at best poorly served…The focus will be on supplying grain whiskey to pot still distilleries while grain and malt and pot still whiskeys will be supplied as Private Label products to large retailers worldwide and as Bulk Whiskey to companies wishing to develop their own brands.”
There’s more from the Teelings – son of director John, Jack Teeling, heads up the Teeling Whiskey Company which has itself offered limited release whiskies as an independent bottler. In the meantime, as others also look to build and expand distilleries, more activity from Irish distillers is on its way.