Northern Irish Whiskey And Gin Manufacturer Hinch Preparing To Open Visitor Centre In Co. Down
Northern Irish whiskey and gin manufacturer Hinch is preparing to open a visitor centre on the grounds of Killaney Estate in Ballynahinch, Co. Down.
The opening of the visitor will follow the launch of a new £15 million distillery on the same 30,000 square metre site at Killaney Estate, which, as reported by The Irish News, has just been officially opened by Northern Ireland economy minister Diane Dodds.
The visitor centre includes a bar and restaurant, an outside courtyard space, and a multi-purpose events space for events such as weddings to corporate events.
The centre's retail outlet is already open, and the distillery team will also be offering behind the scenes guided tours of the distilling operation once it is safe to do so. Fully trained guides will bring visitors on an interactive and informative journey that gives insight into both the history of Irish whiskey and its unique distilling process, and there will be tutored tastings at the conclusion of the tour.
The opening day has been postponed many times due to COVID-19-related lockdowns and social restrictions.
According to The Irish News, the new distillery and visitor centre facility represents a £15 million investment that was backed by almost £2 million of government support, and, when it's fully operational, the new distillery and visitor centre facility is expected to create 42 job and pay £1.3 million a year in salaries.
Hinch Distillery Chairman Statement
Hinch Distillery chairman Terry Cross stated, "We have waited a long time to open our site to the people of Northern Ireland and visitors here, and we look forward to that day when we can unveil what we believe is going to be a new jewel in the tourism crown here.
"Despite not being able to open our public offering fully at the distillery, we've continued to develop our offering, expand our portfolio, win awards and sign major deals with distributors worldwide in the shadows of what has been a very challenging economic climate and our Craft & Casks collection is just a part of this.
"The popularity of whiskeys is soaring, as too is demand for new and bold offerings, and this is exactly what this new taste profile provides. Some of the whiskey sector's biggest household names are benefitting from this innovation drive."
Northern Ireland Economy Minister Statement
The Irish News quotes Dodds as saying, "Investments like this will help us sow the seeds of recovery and rebuild our economy following the impact of the pandemic.
"Through sheer hard work and determination, Hinch has moved from idea stage to develop a range of products and grown to export its products to over 25 countries. I congratulate Terry and his team and wish them every success."
Additional Hinch Distillery Chairman Statement
The Irish News quotes Cross as saying in relation to Dodds officially opening the new Hinch distillery, "This marks a proud moment as we finally realised a blueprint that is set to make its mark on the Northern Ireland tourism map and the global drinks industry.
"Our Hinch range of Irish whiskies and Ninth Wave Irish Gin brand are already leaving an imprint on the international drinks market.
"And despite being relative newcomers, we are making waves at revered awards events globally including a Double Gold and 'Gin of the Year' trophy for our Ninth Wave Irish Gin at the China Wine and Spirit Awards.
"Being able to commence operations is just the beginning of our story. We look forward to celebrating our successful products at home, where they are made, and invite Northern Ireland to be part of that."
Invest NI Chief Executive Statement
Additionally, The Irish News quotes Invest NI chief executive Kevin Holland as saying, "We have been working with Hinch Distillery to help it grow its business, create jobs and rapidly grow its exports.
"The distillery and visitor centre adds to Northern Ireland's growing drinks tourism industry with its distinct product offering and guest experience."
Hinch Distillery has also signed a deal with the Musgrave Group, which Hinch said will ensure the distillery's range of whiskeys and Ninth Wave Gins increase their presence in both the on and off sale market locally in Northern Ireland through Drinks Inc., which is a division of the Musgrave Group.
International Distribution Deals
The above news follows news from December of 2020 that Hinch has signed distribution deals for Germany and Poland.
According to The Irish News, Hinch has also signed distributions deals for Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Taiwan and the US.
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