New €35m whiskey distillery opens in Tullamore

AUDIO: The new site will produce up to 1.5 million cases annually

New €35m whiskey distillery opens in Tullamore

The new distillery in Co Offaly | Image: Tullamore Dew

One of the biggest ever projects in the Irish whiskey industry has opened today. 60 years after it originally closed its doors, Tullamore Dew is opening a new €35m facility in Co Offaly.

The Tullamore distillery is the first new distillery to be constructed on a greenfield site in Ireland in over 100 years, and is one of the most significant investments to date in the resurgent Irish whiskey sector.

Located on a 58 acre site in Clonminch on the outskirts of Tullamore, the distillery draws on natural spring water from the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It will be capable of producing the equivalent of 1.5 million cases of Tullamore Dew annually.

William Grant & Sons Ltd., the owner of Tullamore Dew, says the distillery was built to meet the growing international demand for the product - which is now the second largest Irish whiskey in the world.

Commenting at the official opening ceremony, Agriculture Minister Coveney said "Irish Whiskey is a star of the Irish food and drink industry and the fastest growing spirit on world markets."

"Today I am again impressed by the confidence of the companies investing €1bn in Irish whiskey over a period of ten years."

"I was delighted to turn the sod on the site of this distillery in historic Tullamore and today, the first liquid gold flows into casks for skilful maturation with the promise of a premium product and great visitor experiences," he added.

Stella David is chief executive of William Grant & Sons Ltd. She told Newstalk's business editor Ian Guider that demand for Irish whiskey is on the increase.