The Great Northern Distillery is investing €25m to double its capacity to two million bottles of whiskey a week to serve the growing number of local businesses tapping into the world’s fastest growing ‘brown spirit’.
Based in Dundalk, Co. Louth, reat Northern supplies brands such as JJ Corry in West Clare with malt and grain whiskey, as well as private label whiskey to retailers.
The largest independent distillery complex in the country, the distillery describes itself as a one-stop shop, working with brand owners and buyers to create their own one-of-a-kind whiskey. It also blends, ages and stores casks and arranges bottling for brands.
The Great Northern Distillery produces one million bottles each week from its two on-site distilleries: a 4 million liter still and a 12 million liter column still. A second pot still with four million liters will go into operation on the 5.5 hectare site in the first quarter of 2023.
The investment in a new distillery at the complex comes after reports showing that global sales of Irish whiskey – almost forgotten after decades – rose 21.5 per cent to a record 14 million cases in 2021, almost twice as high as in 2014.
Since 2013, the number of distilleries nationwide has grown from four to 42, with new entrants often relying on the mass market to focus on marketing and branding.
“I would expect Irish whiskey sales to double to 30 million [cases] by 2030, provided there is no further post-Covid disruption to the industry, said John Teeling, chairman and founder of Great Northern Distillery Sunday independent.
“If that’s the case, we have a shortage of distilling capacity. The stuff we’re expanding our capacity for in Dundalk is supposed to be sold in ten years. We need to distill for 2030 and 2035 – we can’t just distill now and say we’ve had enough.
“There are 700 Irish whiskey brands and 42 distilleries. This tells you that there are a large number of companies that do not have their own distillation. Distilling is time consuming and very capital intensive unless it is a very small segment with a specialty product.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/whiskey-galore-dundalk-distillery-to-invest-25m-as-global-market-for-the-irish-drink-is-booming-41892015.html Whiskey galore: Dundalk distillery invests 25 million euros as the global market for the Irish drink booms