First Ever Irish Drinks Open Forum Event In Galway

By Robert McHugh
First Ever Irish Drinks Open Forum Event In Galway

Ireland’s spirits and drinks industry will join together for the first ever Irish Drinks Open Forum event in Athenry, Galway on Thursday September 14, 2023.

The event will be organised by the BIA Innovator Campus and supported by the Department of Agriculture, and will see delegates, along with 17 speakers, from Ireland’s spirits and whiskey trade, suppliers and industry gather for one day of knowledge, thought sharing, debate and networking.

It aims to serve as a platform for Ireland’s fast growing spirits and whiskey sector, agri-producers, and start-ups to come together and exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences.

Irish Whiskey

Ireland is now being home to over 40 distilleries distilling over 110 million LPA (litres pure alcohol) of whiskey spirit every year.

Global sales reached 15.2 million cases – over 180 million bottles – in 2022, whilst the value of spirit exports from Ireland soared by 17.3% to almost €1.5bn in the same year.


Furthermore, the all-island export value of Irish whiskey exceeded €1 billion for the first time, showing the importance of the industry to the country’s shared economy, North and South.

Speakers And Guests

At the Irish Drinks Open Forum event, delegates from the industry North and South, will join speakers such as James Doherty (Sliabh Liag Distillers & Chair of the Irish Whiskey Association), John Teeling (Great Northern Distillery), Lora Hemy (Roe & Co. Distillery/Diageo), Simon Fay (Irish Distillers/Pernod Ricard).

The event will also include representatives from a wide cross-section of spirits producers and brands, suppliers and agencies who include Teagasc and Bord Bia.

‘World Atlas of Whisky’

The Forum is being MC’d by Dave Broom who has been writing and speaking about the subject for over 30 years.

Broom has written 14 books including ‘A Sense of Place’ examining the role of community, culture, location and sustainability in Scotch whisky as well as working on a new edition of his ‘World Atlas of Whisky’ which profiles Irish whiskey.

'Sustainable Enterprise Development'

"Bringing together Ireland’s drinks industry innovators, thought leaders and visionaries will encourage creativity, knowledge exchange and sustainable enterprise development across the Irish spirit and whiskey sector,” said Peter Feeney, Chair of BIA.