A €10m investment at the Connacht Whiskey Distillery in Ballina, Co. Mayo will generate 40 new jobs.
The distillery goes into production in mid-October and expects to produce up to 70,000 cases per year. It is only the second Connacht-based craft whiskey distillery, and one of a handful of developed craft distilleries across the country.
Speaking at the opening, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “I am delighted that the craft of whiskey-making is returning to the west of Ireland and in so doing is creating 40 new jobs. It is especially pleasing to see the renewal of what was Duffys’ Bakery – we’re moving from one grain to another, so to speak – and bringing new life to this scenic location on the banks of the River Moy.
This exciting venture brings to fruition the vision of David Stapleton and his US-Irish team and marks a positive development for the agri-food and drinks sector. It is also a vote of confidence in Mayo and yet another sign of the regional recovery that has begun to take hold across Ireland.”
Tom Jensen, Connacht Whiskey director, added: “Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing whiskey in the US, but is outsold by scotch four to one. Our goal is to introduce US consumers to the beauty of a hand-crafted, pot distilled Irish whiskey from western Ireland.”
Rob Cassell, master distiller, Connacht Whiskey, commented: “We are very different from the massive, production-driven Irish distilleries that have been in the news lately. We are a company focused on bringing consumers small batch Irish whiskey that is smooth, full of character and has a distinctive flavour. We have a luxury of opportunity here at Connacht Whiskey that allows us to have a step into the past by creating traditional style Irish whiskey.”