Commenting on the news that Matt D'Arcy & Company has been given the green light to develop a new whiskey production and visitor facility in the Co. Down town of Newry, Irish Whiskey Association head William Lavelle said, "The Irish Whiskey Association wishes to congratulate Michael McKeown, Andrew Cowan and the team at Matt D’Arcy & Company for securing planning permission for their new €7.3 million whiskey distillery, bar, restaurant and visitor centre investment, and realising their ambition of returning whiskey production to this historic 200-year-old site on Monaghan Street.
"This planned development confirms the status of the North East as an emerging powerhouse of Irish Whiskey distilling with two of the country’s largest distilleries, Great Northern Distillery and Cooley Distillery, located nearby.
"The new Newry Distillery will be located at the heart of a cross-border cluster of distillery visitor centres."
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This Irish whiskey tourism cluster also includes Rademon Estate and Echlinville Distillery visitors centres in Co. Down, the soon-to-open Boann Distillery visitor centre in Co. Louth and Slane Distillery visitor centre in Co. Meath.
Lavelle continued, "Irish whiskey has experienced a true renaissance in the last decade and remains the fastest-growing spirits category in the world. The industry sold 9.7 million cases of whiskey globally in 2017, a 10.6% increase on the previous year. Based on current sales projections, we are now on course to surpass our 2020 target of selling 12 million cases (144 million bottles).
"Distillery visitor centres have also played a central role in telling the story of Irish whiskey. There are currently thirteen distillery visitor centres around the country, with a further ten in development. These are valuable assets to Irish tourism. In 2017, visitor numbers to Irish whiskey distilleries grew to 814,000, an 11% increase year-on-year and a 25% increase on 2015.
“The continued success of Irish whiskey is down to the vision, craftsmanship and product innovation of our member distilleries, both old and new. We look forward to working with Matt D’Arcy & Company in developing a world-class Irish whiskey and welcoming the first of its product to market in 2019.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.