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Harp Brewery To Become Whiskey Distillery

Published on Aug 21 2013 2:18 PM in General Industry

Harp Brewery To Become Whiskey Distillery

The former owner of famed whiskey producer Cooley Distillery, John Teeling, is expected to take over the former Harp Brewery in Dundalk. Teeling hopes to begin distilling whiskey at the plant next year, creating a total of 80 jobs.

According to reports, Teeling considered the move after hearing a plea for investment in the Dundalk brewery from the then president of the Chamber of Commerce Paddy Malone. The plant faced closure following Diageo's announcement in January that it was to cease brewing activities at the plant.

Malone described the takeover as a "practical example of the Louth Economic Forum bringing private and public sectors together".

The chairman of the Louth Economic Forum, Padraic White, who is a former chairman of the IDA, said, “The Louth Economic Forum advocates the combined efforts of private and public enterprise. As Forum chairperson I, of course, warmly welcome today’s announcement that John Teeling is to operate the Great Northern Brewery as a distillery.”

The acquisition would not be Teeling's first brewery conversion: in 1987, the businessman transformed a former potato alcohol plant in Louth into the Cooley whiskey distillery.

Teeling will take over the plant over the coming week, with the distillery to be opened sometime next year. He plans to reinvent the Dundalk plant as an own-label and bulk distillery, which would operate along similar lines as his Cooley Distillery, which he sold to American drinks firm Beam in 2011 for €73 million.

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