Mark Reynier to open Irish whiskey distillery

2nd December, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Mark Reynier, the former managing director of Bruichladdich Distillery, has bought a former Guinness brewery in Ireland and plans to transform it into an Irish whiskey distillery.

Waterford-Brewery

The Waterford Brewery, which produced Guinness up until last year, will be transformed into an Irish whiskey distillery

The Waterford Brewery, previously owned by Diageo, will be converted into a malt and grain whiskey distillery with an initial annual capacity of 3 million litres.

Liquid is due to run from the two pot stills and one column still in January 2016, although Reynier has plans to eventually double the capacity in time.

Renamed Waterford Distillery, the site will produce a range of innovative Irish whiskeys designed to “add some meat to the bones of the category”.

Reynier’s obsession with barley, which became apparent through the Scotch whiskies from Bruichladdich, will be a main focus of Waterford Whiskey, as will experimental bottlings using different yeasts.

“It gives me the opportunity to challenge Pernod Ricard in Ireland and create a significant Irish whiskey brand with a whole lot of extra credibility that sometimes is missing from big companies,” Reynier said.

The brewery, located in the port of Waterford in South East Ireland, was closed by Diageo last year as the group moved its Guinness production to the flagship St. James Gate brewery in Dublin.

Waterford-Distillery-Renegade-Spirits

Waterford Distillery’s new logo

Reynier has partnered with former Bruichladdich backers John McTaggart, who will assume the role of chairman, and John Adams, who will be finance director, as well as 50 private shareholders, to form holding company Renegade Spirits.

After the sale of Bruichladdich to Rémy Cointreau in 2012, and following what he calls an initial “bereavement period”, Reynier has been seeking a new opportunity to get back into distilling.

“Scotland is looking pretty full and I’d always thought of Ireland, which has just four distilleries,” he said. “Clearly it’s an opportunity to do something if the right project could present itself and this is a project that saves me considerable time by buying an existing brewery and means we can be producing spirit pretty damn quick.”

While Reynier would not disclose the purchase price of the Waterford brewery, he said the acquisition was for “significantly less” than the €40m value of the site, which opened in 2004. Waterford also houses a second brewery, which dates back to 1792.

Once up and running, the distillery will not produce any white spirits as a source of income as it “doesn’t need the revenue stream”, instead focusing solely on producing Irish whiskey.

3 Responses to “Mark Reynier to open Irish whiskey distillery”

  1. Rick says:

    I wish I could be one of those private investors.

  2. jim martin says:

    Well done Mark – this is just what whisk(e)y needs.

  3. Hi Mark, hope you remember me, smallest Whisky Bar in earth. I have build a small Distillery at 1400 meter in the Alps-in production! If possible, i would like to vist you. 8 to 17 August I m in SCOTLAND, Maybe I can take a Ferry to Irland. I Travel with Katharina. Here my mobil 0041764220308. Kind regards Gunter

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

William Grant appoints brand ambassadors

William Grant & Sons has appointed Alwynne Gwilt and Fabiano Latham as UK brand more...

Patrón TR chief: 'every brand is a competitor'

John Kilmartin, travel retail chief at Patrón Spirits International, talks more...

Irish whiskey exports 'to double' by 2020

Exports of Irish whiskey increased by an estimated 8% in 2016 to €505 million more...

Jack Daniel's launches whiskey-infused coffee

Caffeine-crazed Jack Daniel's lovers can now have a taste of their favourite more...

Irish whiskey sector 'fails to protect small brands'

The growth of Irish whiskey is “under threat” since the industry has a more...

Spirit Works Distillery appoints head distiller

California-based "grain-to-glass" distillery Spirit Works has promoted Lauren more...

Rémy Cointreau unveils corporate makeover

Bruichladdich Scotch and Rémy Martin Cognac owner Rémy Cointreau has unveiled more...

The Kyoto Distillery in pictures

Join us for a tour around the unique, if diminutive, site that is pioneering more...

Scottish castle distillery gets go-ahead

A castle in the Scottish Highlands which dates back to the 13th century has more...

Sidney Frank sells American Harvest Vodka

US spirits firm The Beach Whiskey Company has acquired the American Harvest more...

A drink with... Ian Harris, WSET

The CEO of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust tells The Spirits Business about more...

IAADFS and ASUTIL to ‘integrate’ events

Americas-based travel retail trade associations IAADFS and ASUTIL will merge more...

London bar hosts first BlackTail residency

The Bloomsbury Club Bar in London is readying to host the "first ever" more...

BrewDog slams 'deluded' council in distillery row

BrewDog has hit out at Aberdeenshire Council amid claims the authority is more...

Plans for Donegal distillery approved

The town of Donegal in Ireland is set to welcome its first distillery in 175 more...

Bacardi GTR brings rum focus to Malaga

Bacardi Global Travel Retail has teamed up with Dufry-owned World Duty Free to more...

Top 10 biggest spirits stories of 2016

The Spirits Business looks back at the biggest stories to rock the spirits more...

Top 10 'top 10s' of 2016

Top tips for hangovers, the most unusual whisky cask finishes and family-owned more...

Arbikie Highland Estate launches second gin

Scottish farm distillery Arbikie Highland Estate has released its second gin more...

Experts predict top spirits trends in 2017

If you're curious about what the coming year has in store for the global more...