Irish whiskey sector to invest over €1bn in new distilleries

Added on: 22 April, 2014

Irish whiskey exports have grown by 220% since 2003 and are now valued at €350m

With more than 15 new distilleries currently being developed across the country, the Irish whiskey sector is set to invest over €1 billion in Ireland in the next 10 years, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said today.

Launching the Irish Whiskey Association, Mr Coveney said Irish whiskey is “a star of the Irish food and drink sector” adding that the new distillery projects are significant mark of confidence in Ireland’s economic future.

He said the new all island association will bring together new entrants and existing companies to promote Irish whiskey and to ensure the product is given vital protection going forward.

Peter Morehead, chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and production director at Irish Distillers, said there has been sustained growth in Irish whiskey over the last 20 of years, with the category experiencing double-digit growth since the turn of the millennium.

“Three years ago, the island of Ireland had four distilleries in operation– in the next three to five years that number will grow to over fifteen if all the current projects move forward.”

The Irish whiskey sector currently employs 5,000 directly and indirectly, a number which is set to grow to 6,500 by 2025. Turnover for the industry is almost €400 million, with an annual direct domestic spend of €237 million.

Pamela Newenham Irish Times  © 2014