All-island approach for Irish whiskeys?

The Irish Whiskey Association has welcomed a new report from just-drinks and The IWSR on the non-Scotch whisky sector which highlights the incredible growth taking place in the Irish whiskey industry.

The report remarks on the Irish whiskey “renaissance” being felt by industry insiders and notes that Irish whiskey was the fastest-growing spirits category globally between 2009 and 2014, recording a CAGR of 10.5%.

The Irish whiskey industry has reacted to the huge increase in demand by launching new products and opening new distilleries across Ireland, stated the Association which has identified a number of pillars on which a successful industry can be built. These include:


  1. Adequately resourced infrastructure
  2. Category integrity and promotion
  3. Sustainable supply and demand
  4. Vibrant supply and demand
  5. Vibrant tourism offering
  6. Strong home market

“Irish whiskey is reaching new consumers and new markets, with distinct and accessible products and strong brands,” stated Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, “The potential is massive when we compare Ireland to Scotland, with over 115 Scottish distilleries in operation, bringing investment and employment into rural areas.”

Irish whiskey exports are set to double by 2020 and double again by 2030. In the last decade, the category grew by almost 200%.

And the IWA pointed to the most recent opening of Echlinville Distillery in County Down as a sign that the Irish whiskey revival is taking place right across the island of Ireland.

As the Irish whiskey industry continues to grow, the development of an all-island approach to Irish whiskey tourism should be a consideration, stated Miriam Mooney.

“With a wealth of new entrants in the Irish whiskey sector, we’ll continue to see a significant number of new tourism offerings opening over the coming years like the Echlinville distillery tours being launched today.

“The island of Ireland has the opportunity to bring together the industry and government agencies such as Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourism Board to put together a co-ordinated strategy for an all-island approach to Irish Whiskey tourism. The tourism agencies in both jurisdictions can help develop this route as a necklace of distilleries and visitor attractions develops across the island of Ireland.

“The employment potential is significant as guided tours and restaurants are labour-intensive operations. In Scotland it is estimated that there is a five to one ratio of export value to direct tourism.”




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