Lough Gill Brewery has announced plans to create a new visitor experience in Sligo Town, capitalising on the popularity of adventure-and-experience tourism in the area.
The brewery, which employs seven people and has an annual turnover of more than €1 million, is embarking on its first Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) fundraising round for the new project.
“Drinks tourism is very popular in the States and in Europe, with many places offering distillery or brewery tours,” said James Ward, the brewery’s founder.
“Ireland is just starting to get into this, too, and with Sligo a centre for adventure tourism, a brewery visitor experience here at our base in Cleveragh is a great addition to the business.”
Founder Ward, who is the only shareholder in the business, is looking to raise €500,000 – with a minimum investment of €5,000, offering 4.5% per annum.
Ward, who has spent his entire career in the pub, hospitality, distribution and brewing business – both in Ireland and the US – believes that a year-round visitor experience will add to the success that Lough Gill has already enjoyed.
“The company is already profitable, we’ve kept debt to a minimum, we’re a single shareholder company, and we’ve reinvested everything we have made into the company,” said Ward.
“We’re at the growth stage and have some business behind us, so while this is our first fundraising, we’re not a new start-up – we have a proven brand and a strong proposition.”
Strong Growth Trajectory
As for Lough Gill, Ward said that the brewery is on a strong growth trajectory, with its beers sold across Ireland in independent off-licences and through Tesco, Aldi, Centra and SuperValu.
Lough Gill Brewery products are also sold in the US, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.