Rebooting Ireland: Sliabh Liag Distillers to build new distillery as sales grow 50%

Rebooting Ireland | Mon 7 Sep | Author – Business & Finance

Award winning Sliabh Liag Distillers to build new distillery as sales grow 50%

Sliabh Liag Distillers was founded by husband and wife team James and Moira Doherty to ‘reclaim the distilling heritage of Donegal’, and recreate the rich authentic spirits of the area from a time before the industrial revolution.

Since inception, Sliabh Liag Distillers has grown significantly. The sector has been dominated by a handful of mainstream brands for a century, but in the last decade, a renaissance of unique, small-batch spirits has seen it double in size.

Sliabh Liag Distillers hopes to commence its phased move to Ardara in Autumn 2021. Work on the site is already underway, and will increase the Company’s production capacity to 500,000 litres of alcohol per annum with room for expansion, as it anticipates growing international demand.

Accompanying the renaissance of Irish whiskey has been a resurgence of whiskey tourism. In time, the site at Ardara will feature tiered levels of tours that will take visitors through the distillery, the distilling process, the history of whiskey and local poitín-making, alongside the heritage of the area.

It’s been an interesting year to say the least. On one hand we pivoted into making hand sanitiser for the community here in Donegal, while on the other we laid down the first barrel of smoky single malt Irish whiskey in the county since 1841.

James Doherty, Managing Director of Sliabh Liag, said: “We are reclaiming the distilling heritage of Donegal and in doing so we have founded the first legal whiskey distillery in the county for over 175 years. Both my grandfathers were illicit poitín men. This is in my DNA.  It is my legacy and one that I think my grandfathers would be proud of.

“I want to share this legacy – this opportunity to cement artisan Irish whiskey as the world’s best – with those who want to come along with us on this exciting journey through Ireland’s long, almost lost distilling heritage. Join us, or as we say in Irish, ‘Bigi Linn’.”

Moira Doherty, Director of Sliabh Liag, said: “It’s been an interesting year to say the least. On one hand we pivoted into making hand sanitiser for the community here in Donegal, while on the other we laid down the first barrel of smoky single malt Irish whiskey in the county since 1841.

“The Ardara Distillery is the natural next step in our journey to revive the Irish whiskey tradition; to bring it back to the communities while taking the name of Donegal to the furthest reaches we can. After a century where a few big players have dominated, this is a real chance for you to get involved in bringing it back home where it belongs – it will be a part of your story and legacy as much as it is our own.”

Sliabh Liag Distillers has also announced it is seeking €1.5m in investment via crowdfunding to fuel the next phase of its expansion. The Crowdcube campaign was launched on Wednesday 26th August and runs for four weeks.

This fundraising round will allow Sliabh Liag Distillers’s growing band of followers to join a select group, including a drinks industry multinational (Asahi) and Donegal locals, as investors in a sector that has doubled in size over the last decade. The investment will be eligible for EIS tax relief in the UK (EIIS tax relief in Ireland). The company hopes to attract investors within the Irish diaspora, drinks enthusiasts, and others looking for interesting long-term investments.