Quiet Man Distillery plans ‘on hold for now’

13th November, 2019 by Amy Hopkins

Plans to build The Quiet Man Distillery in Northern Ireland were put on hold by US owner Luxco because “economically it didn’t make sense”, but the firm would “still like to do the project” at some point.

The Quiet Man Distillery has been “put on hold for now”

The brand’s maker, Niche Drinks, received approval to build the £12 million (US$15.4m) distillery in 2017. The move was praised by the Irish Whiskey Association as “further evidence that the renaissance of Irish whiskeys is occurring throughout the island of Ireland”.

St Louis-headquartered Luxco, which owns Bourbon maker Lux Row Distillery and Tequila distillery DGL Destiladores, acquired a controlling stake in Niche Drinks in April last year.

Niche Drinks had been a partner of Luxco’s for a number of years, producing its St Brendan’s Irish Cream brand. At the time of the acquisition, Luxco and Niche Drinks representatives met with Londonderry’s Strategic Investment Board to discuss the project.

In November last year, it was reported that plans to build The Quiet Man Distillery had been scrapped.

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Luxco CEO Donn Lux said “The Quiet Man brand just wasn’t big enough” to justify building the distillery.

He added: “We would still like to do it at some point, but not right now. The brand is doing well, but it’s small. It was more of a tourism project the more we looked at it.”

Lux said that similar to the American whiskey industry, there is now “excess capacity” in Ireland due to the growth of third-party production and new distilleries.

“Derry is a wonderful place, but we asked ourselves what business we’re in, and it was really more of a tourist attraction than a distillery,” he added. “I’d still like to do the project if we can get the brand to build, it’s just going to take some time.”

Lux also spoke to SB about his company’s gradual move into distilling after many years bottling third-party spirits.

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