Irish Whiskey Association launches landmark new Irish whiskey mentoring programme

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Irish Whiskey Association launches landmark new Irish whiskey mentoring programme

Industry leaders including Irish Distillers and Bushmills to support and guide new entrants into the Irish whiskey category

20th October 2016: The Irish Whiskey Association has today launched a landmark new mentoring programme, which will see established global Irish whiskey players such as Irish Distillers and Bushmills support the growth of new market entrants. Participants on the programme will be provided with the information and guidance they need to produce the high quality Irish whiskey that has driven the phenomenal success of this category on the global stage.

The Irish whiskey market is the fastest growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200% in the last decade. This unique initiative will see established industry leaders mentor new entrants to the market with a structured programme to ensure the sustainable growth of emerging distilleries and, more broadly, the Irish whiskey category as a whole.

The programme which kicks off today will include:

    - workshops hosted by the Irish Whiskey Association where industry experts from a number of companies will share their knowledge on issues such as production, branding, route to market, and licensing requirements;

    - a new one-stop-shop online portal to help new market entrants with business planning;

    - Active mentoring where mentor companies will be paired with new entrants to support distillery planning, design, construction and commissioning;

    - Production workshops to ensure that the high quality, premium nature of this cherished category is protected and furthered.

Speaking at the launch, Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “Today’s launch marks an exciting milestone for Irish Whiskey’s history. This is a unique programme which will see industry leaders support new market entrants. It also showcases the collegiality amongst industry and members of the Irish Whiskey Association. The mentor companies will share information, expertise and knowledge with new entrants enabling them to plan and succeed in the Irish whiskey business whilst at the same time upholding the integrity and quality that has underpinned Irish whiskey’s global renaissance.”

Bernard Walsh, chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and CEO of Walsh Whiskey Distillery, said: “The Irish whiskey industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. We know that there is huge consumer appetite for our brands globally, we only have to look across the water to Scotland with 108 distilleries in operation to see what’s possible. This initiative is very welcome and the mentor companies are to be applauded for investing their expertise in new projects, to ensure high standards are maintained. For the industry to grow and compete internationally with scotch and bourbon brands we cannot compromise on quality. The advice and support of industry experts is invaluable in helping companies navigate what can be difficult and complex issues.”

David Quinn, Technical Director, Irish Distillers, added: “Irish Distillers is delighted to be participating in this industry-first programme. As the Irish whiskey category continues its growth at pace, innovation will be key to realising the full potential of Irish whiskey on the world stage. The mentoring partnership is mutually beneficial, with new entrants bringing new brands and stories to the global market, and established companies imparting the legacy and traditions of our founders as well as their approaches to innovation. At Irish Distillers, we have already seen incredible results, working with distilleries such as Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We look forward to growing our relationships with other emerging companies and continuing on our journey of nurturing the Irish whiskey renaissance globally.”