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Kyrö Distillery to build second whisky facility

Finland’s Kyrö Distillery Company is “considerably” ramping up its whisky production by building a second site, which is expected to be completed by October 2019.

Kyrö’s second whisky distillery is expected to be completed in the next couple of months

Once complete, the second site will expand Kyrö’s annual distilling capacity from 85,000 litres of pure alcohol (lpa) to 350,000 lpa in the first stage. The new facility is opposite Kyrö’s distillery and visitor centre in Isokyrö.

Kyrö Distillery, which is housed in a former dairy, fired up its stills in 2014 with the aim of creating Finnish rye whisky. The distillery was founded by Miika Lipiäinen, Mikko Koskinen, Kalle Valkonen, Miko Heinilä, Jouni Ritola, who came up with the idea while sharing a dram of rye whisky in a sauna.

The expansion project will see Kyrö open a second distillery for whisky production in the next few months, which will have the ability to produce up to one million litres including fermentation capacity. The site will house eight 12,000-litre fermenters, a 9,000-litre still and a 7,000-litre still.

In a bid to become more environmentally friendly, the new site will also use biogas for energy production and use river water for process cooling. There will also be a heat recovery system, which can build heat for use during the long winters in Finland.

Larger quantities of Kyrö’s Finnish rye whisky will become available in 2020

In 2017, the distillery separated its whisky and gin lines to allow for simultaneous production. The site also increased its bottling capacity, renovated its facilities and improved its logistics. In late 2018, Kyrö also added a second barrel storage warehouse.

Kyrö Distillery Company, which produces its products with 100% wholegrain rye grown locally, has a range of spirits including Napue and Koskue gins, Juuri rye spirit, single malt whisky Kyrö Malt, a pale bitter, a dark bitter, ready-to-drink Long Kyrö, and a cream liqueur. Smoke & Rye spirit was launched under Kyrö’s experimental Study series. Napue Gin is currently available in 28 countries.

The first batch of Kyrö’s single malt whisky was launched in 2017 with larger quantities to become available in 2020.

‘Serious contender’ 

“We were really happy about the operation on the gin line but we weren’t really happy with the volumes on the whisky line because we could already see that it was so small that we can never break on to an international volume range,” said Lipiäinen, co-founder and CEO of Kyrö Distillery Company.

“So what we did was put together a four-year plan starting from 2018 and over the running time of that plan, we plan to invest around €10 million (US$11.2m) in the business including building production, building warehouses, filling the warehouses and then increasing marketing.

“We want to make it into a facility where we can start to be a serious contender. In combined production, we’re going to be about Kilchoman size next year.”

The current site, which contains both the original whisky and gin lines, will become “the experimental side” once the new distillery is built, according to head distiller Kalle Valkonen.

Kyrö will also launch some collaborative expressions in the future, in partnership with Japan’s Kyoto Distillery and Ireland’s Teeling Whiskey Distillery.

Napue Gin is currently available in 28 countries

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