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Sliabh Liag Distillers exceeds €1.5m funding target

Irish spirits producer Sliabh Liag Distillers has surpassed its €1.5 million (US$1.7m) fundraising target in less than two weeks.

An impression of the planned Sliabh Liag distillery in Ardara, County Donegal

In July 2020, the company said it aimed to raise €1.5m through a Crowdcube campaign to help build its new distillery in County Donegal.

The fundraising drive, which opened on Wednesday 26 August, has raised £1,588,885 (US$2m) from 830 investors to date. Three existing stakeholders and former Sab Miller executives have pledged €250,000 (US$297,000). Of the amount raised, this includes two of the Sab executives’ funding with the third expected to come in this week.

Sliabh Liag has already received €3m (US$3.6m) from Japanese drinks firm Asahi, owner of Nikka whisky.

Founder James Doherty said: “Raising capital for major building projects can be challenging in the best of times, so to have surpassed our target with still two weeks to go on our crowdfunding campaign is fantastic news.

“It is testament to the strong business we have built already on the back of our Silkie, An Dúlamán and Assaranca brands, the carefully considered future we have mapped out and hard work of our teams in Donegal and beyond.

“Whiskey is a long term business, but with this successful raise and newly anticipated overfunding, we will be able to quickly accelerate our mission of reclaiming the distilling heritage of Donegal.”

The company secured planning permission to build the distillery and visitor centre in Ardara, County Donegal, in August 2019, bringing whiskey production back to the county for the first time in 177 years. The firm has completed phase one of its Ardara Distillery and is expected to begin production in summer 2021.

The firm will increase its production capacity to 500,000 litres of alcohol per year with room for further expansion as it expects “growing international demand”.

Sliabh Liag said it had posted a sales increase of 75% year over year (November 2019 to August/September 2020).

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