The €35 million investment will meet the long-term production demands for Tullamore Dew, the world’s second-largest Irish whiskey brand, currently growing by over 15 per cent a year and central to the growth plans of William Grant & Sons which bought the brand in July 2010.
William Grant & Sons has agreed principal terms and is now in the final stages of negotiating the purchase of a 58 acre site at Clonminch on the outskirts of Tullamore from Offaly County Council. The location offers a plentiful supply of natural, quality spring water from the nearby Slieve Bloom mountains, for the triple distillation process used.
Work on the new distillery, which will utilise the latest in green technology, is scheduled to begin later this year subject to planning permission and will support in the region of 100 construction jobs during the two-year building phase. When combined with the new Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre (scheduled to open in September 2012), the total number employed by the firm in the town will rise to around 25. Tullamore Dew will continue to be bottled at its current facility in Clonmel where it employs over 60 people.
“This investment by William Grant & Sons underpins our long-term commitment to Tullamore Dew, the town of Tullamore and Ireland,” commented William Grant & Sons’ Chief Executive Stella David, “It represents an important next step in the long-term growth and development of the Tullamore Dew brand.
“We’re excited about bringing whiskey distilling back to Tullamore Dew’s roots for the first time in almost 60 years.
“The new distillery will not only cement William Grant & Sons’ presence in Ireland, but reinforces the fact that the brand is now firmly rooted back in its original home of Tullamore. Our distillery will combine traditional distillation practices with the very latest in modern and green technologies to prepare the brand for future growth.”
William Grant & Sons’ Group Marketing Director Maurice Doyle added, “Irish whiskey is a major growth story internationally and with this investment we’re looking forward to putting Tullamore Dew and the Midlands region back on the map as one of Ireland’s premier whiskey producing regions”.
Pat Gallagher, Offally County Council’s County Manager commented, “Offaly County Council is extremely pleased and proud to welcome Tullamore Dew back home in this manner. William Grant & Sons has invested significantly in the brand over the past 18 months with the refurbishment of the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre and now, with the plans to construct the distillery, have shown the ultimate commitment to the region”.
Tullamore Dew Global Brand Director Shane Hoyne said the new distillery was a key element of the international growth of Irish whiskey.
Tullamore Dew has doubled worldwide sales to almost 700,000 cases since 2005. The plan for a new distillery has been prompted by the brand’s rapid growth, driven largely by increased consumer demand for Irish whiskey in the US and emerging Irish whiskey markets such as Germany, Sweden and Eastern Europe where the brand already occupies a leadership position and is outperforming its competitors.
William Grant & Sons currently employs over 80 people in Ireland in Clonmel, Tullamore and Dublin.