Irish gin’s Q1 exports were valued at €935,000 compared to just €175,000 in Q1 2017. However half of this value came from exports to the US, now engaged in a trade war with the EU. A further quarter came from exports to the UK currently under the shadow of Brexit. There were also shipments of Irish gin to both Japan and Mexico in Q1 2018, both increasingly important new markets for Irish spirits, according to the Irish Spirits Association’s Head William Lavelle.
The ISA recently published the first-ever Strategy for Irish Gin, which includes a target of trebling Irish gin sales globally by 2022.
Irish gin producers recently celebrated World Gin Day with a range of events taking place around the country and in the UK including the Latin Quarter Gin Fest in Galway, the Belfast Gin Fest and Junipalooza in London.
Waterford’s Blackwater Distillery took its award-winning Blackwater No5 and Blackwater Wexford Strawberry Gin to both Belfast Gin Fest and Junipalooza.
“At Blackwater, we’ve created a foothold in the Irish market and we’re now eyeing export growth,” said Blackwater’s Peter Mulryan, “We’re delighted to announce that we‘ve just signed a British distribution deal and our craft gin brands are now available right across the UK.”
To kick-off the weekend of activities the Irish Spirits Association were represented by Shortcross Gin (Rademon Estate Distillery), Boann Distillery and Lough Ree Distillery at the high-profile Gin Guild ‘Ginposium’ conference in London.
Other events on World Gin Day included:
- The team at Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin at festivals in Galway, Dublin, Belfast and Carlow. In Mayo, Cullen’s at the Cottage, Ashford Castle, hosted an exclusive gin day from lunchtime on Saturday, with a gin tasting from Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
- Wicklow’s Glendalough Gin hosted Masterclasses at Belfast Gin Fest on the Friday and Saturday
- There were special tours and tastings at The Echlinville Distillery in County Down, offering behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of Northern Ireland’s only field-to-glass farm distiller
- Míl Irish Gin served Míl G&Ts to customers on the third floor of Brown Thomas on the Saturday from 11 to 5pm.