Irish Whiskey Association welcomes the opening of the Slane Distillery to the public

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Irish Whiskey Association wishes Slane Distillery the best of luck tomorrow when it opens its doors to visitors

From the 2nd September onwards, visitors will be able to avail of guided tours of the state-of-the-art distillery, as well as whiskey tastings, on the grounds of the iconic Slane Castle in County Meath.

“The opening of Slane Distillery to visitors represents a landmark moment in the ongoing renaissance of Irish whiskey which is particularly benefitting the rural economy in Ireland,” said William Lavelle, the Head of the Irish Whiskey Association.

“Slane Castle is one of our country’s most famous castles, and is already an international tourist venue of some renown. Now, whiskey tourists are going to be able to learn about how Irish Whiskey is made and sample its delights in a truly spectacular setting, one which is already known around the world.”

Mr. Lavelle drew particular attention to the role that the Slane Distillery is expected to play in the area of whiskey tourism, a sector which he said has already experienced impressive growth.

“Right now, we have 600,000 visitors passing through distillery visitor centres each year, and that number is expected to increase to 1.9 million by 2025, which should have a hugely beneficial impact on communities across the island.

“Slane Distillery is the newest such centre, but more are expected to come into operation in the next few years. By linking all these different distilleries together, we hope to create a truly unique tourism offering which will attract millions of people to our shores, and the Slane Distillery will surely play a big part in this effort.”

September 2nd will mark the culmination of a project which has drawn together the Conyngham family – who have been in possession of Slane Castle since 1703 – and the Kentucky-based Brown-Forman company which operates globally, but which has never built a distillery in Ireland before.

Notes to Editor:

The Irish whiskey category is the fastest growing premium spirit in the world. Irish whiskey sales have increased by over 300% in the last 10 years accounting for almost one third of all Irish beverage exports.

Exports of Irish whiskey are anticipated to double to 144 million bottles by 2020 (12 million 9 litre cases – 12 75cl bottles per case) and 288 million bottles by 2030 (24 million 9 litre cases).

There are currently 18 working distilleries on the island of Ireland, and another 16 have planning permission. 1.9 million tourists are expected to pass through the doors of Irish whiskey distilleries by 2025.

The Irish Whiskey Association’s mission is to:

        Promote the Irish whiskey category in Ireland and internationally, working with Government agencies and the European Commission.

        Support new market entrants.

        Protect the high standards of Irish whiskey by working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the legal protection offered by the geographic indication is applied in Ireland and internationally.

        Ensure public policy supports the sustainable growth of the Irish whiskey sector.

The Irish Whiskey Association is part of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) which is part of Ibec.

For further information contact:

Melanie McDonald, Red Flag (Dublin) +353 1 634 4533 / +353 86 047 4531