Irish Distillers pour over €10m into Cork whiskey

Creating 60 jobs as new copper stills are installed in Midleton...

Irish Distillers has confirmed an additional €10.5m investment at its centralised distillery in Midleton, County Cork.

Its planned upgrade will include the installation of three new copper stills at the plant. The stills, weighing a combined 24 tonnes and having a capacity of over 75,000 litres each, will be operational by June.

Sixty jobs will be generated during the construction and installation phases.

This will allow the company to increase the production capacity of its single pot still Irish whiskey by more than 30%. 

The fresh injection follows much big spending in recent years from Irish Distillers. It has poured €120m into Midleton Distillery alone since 2012. It has spent €20m on Fox and Geese bottling facility in Dublin, and is investing €100m at its Dungourney maturation site.

The company announced last August that it was planning a €11m redevelopment of the Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield, Dublin, as it looks to capitalise on the growing interest in Irish whiskey around the world.

Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, commented:

"Irish whiskey continues to enjoy phenomenal global growth, led by Jameson with sales of 5.7 million cases in 2016. Irish Distillers has been driving the growth of the category since 1988, a commitment further underpinned by investments of over €230 million since 2012.

"With this additional investment of over €10 million at Midleton Distillery, the home of Irish whiskey, we will ensure that we are positioned to meet growing global demand and support the growth of Irish whiskey in the international spirits category.

“We are seeing growth accelerating across Jameson and the wider single pot still Irish whiskey range, such as Redbreast and Green Spot, and we will continue to direct our focus for growth here. With our increased production capacity, we are confident that the category will hit the ambitious targets set by the Irish Whiskey Association - increasing exports to 12 million cases by 2020 and 24 million cases by 2030."

Midleton Distillery's general manager Paul Wickham added:

"Single pot still Irish whiskey is the quintessential style of Irish whiskey which Irish Distillers saved from virtual extinction in the mid-1900s. Since then we have been investing to protect this traditional Irish whiskey style and today's announcement will help us grow brands such as Redbreast and Green Spot Irish whiskey even further over the next 30 years and beyond."