Midleton Distillery gets €10.5m expansionBy Amy Hopkins
Irish Distillers is embarking on a €10.5 million (US$11.2m) expansion of its Midleton Distillery in Cork, a move that will boost the group’s single pot still Irish whiskey production by over 30%.
The Irish whiskey arm of French drinks group Pernod Ricard will install three new copper pot stills at its Midleton site, which will all be operational by June this year.
Since 2012, Irish Distillers has invested €120m (US$127m) in Midleton, which creates the Jameson family of brands, the Powers and Midleton blends, and the Redbreast, Yellow Spot and Green Spot single pot still Irish whiskey brands.
The firm has also invested €20m (US$21.3m) in its Dublin-based Fox and Geese bottling facility – €17m (US$18.1m) of which was pledged in 2015 – and is currently undertaking a €100m (US$106m) expansion of its Dungourney maturation site.
It also recently embarked on an €11m (US$12.2m) redevelopment of its Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield, Dublin.
Irish Distillers said its investments support the Irish Whiskey Association’s target of increasing the global market share of Irish whiskey by 300% over the next 15 years.
Irish food board Bord Bia recently confirmed that Irish whiskey value exports had increased by 8% in 2016 to €505m and said the industry is on track to double exports by 2020.
“With this additional investment of over €10m at Midleton, the home of Irish whiskey, we will ensure that we are positioned to meet growing global demand and support the growth of Irish whiskey in the international spirits category,” said Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers.
“We are seeing growth accelerating across Jameson and the wider single pot still Irish whiskey range and we will continue to direct our focus for growth here.
“With our increased production capacity, we are confident that the category will hit the ambitious targets set by the Irish Whiskey Association – increasing exports to 12m cases by 2020 and 24m cases by 2030.”
Paul Wickham, general manager of Midleton Distillery, also said the distillery’s expansion will “support the wider Cork economy” since it uses barley from farms located within 100 miles.
“At present, we spend €60m (US$64m) annually on cereals, energy, capital projects and payroll in the local economy and this will increase with the installation of these new stills,” he said.
Installation of the stills commenced this week, with production planned for five months’ time.