By Ryan Coney
A new £15 million whiskey and gin distillery in Co Down is set to create 42 jobs as part of the continued revival in interest in Irish whiskey.
Hinch Distillery, as it will be known, is spearheaded by local businessman Terry Cross, who started out with Delta print packaging. The project which will be located outside Belfast, is set to be completed by Summer 2020 with 42 jobs in place within five years.
Dr Cross spoke at the unveiling of the plans and lauded the recent growth of the Irish whiskey market and its resurgence stating,
“Irish whiskey has continually been the fastest growing spirit category in the world over the last 10 year. The trend is forecast to continue in the future with Irish whiskey beginning to approach and indeed overtake sales of Scotch.”
Ciaran Mulgrew, managing director of Niche drinks who make The Quiet Man whiskey agrees:“Irish whiskey is definitely experiencing an upturn in fortunes, we are seeing a growth in both consumer awareness and consumption of Irish whiskey. It has been the fastest growing sector in the alcoholic drinks market for the last decade.”
Globally, Irish whiskey is on fire and there are now 22 independent whiskey producers on the island. The opening of Hinch Distillery continues this trend with production even returning to Dublin in the form of Teeling Whiskey and Roe and Co.
Teeling Whiskey has taken the whiskey world by storm, making history with its 24 year old single malt. This was named the worlds best at The World Whiskey Awards, the first time an Irish whiskey has won this highly sought after accolade. Indeed, the success of Irish whiskey doesn’t stop there, with superstar sports star Connor McGregor’s offering Proper Number 12 selling a staggering $1 billion worth of whiskey in its first year.
On top of that the most expensive bottle of Irish whiskey, created by distiller Louise McGuane sold out upon its release, the 27 year aged single malt went for €6,500.