Bruton: Irish whiskey 'cool' abroad
The boom in the Irish whiskey market has been helped by companies making the drink "cool" internationally, according to Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.
The minister was speaking as Irish Distillers, the maker of Jameson, launched a €17m expansion of its Fox and Geese bottling plant in Dublin.
The development has created 30 jobs and means the company will be able to produce 120 million more bottles of whiskey every year.
Sales of Jameson, owned by French producer Pernod Ricard, have grown every year for the past 25 years and the development of its bottling plant follows a €200m investment of its facilities at both its Midleton Distillery and its maturation plant in Dungourney, also in Cork.
Mr Bruton said the success of Jameson had "reinstated Irish whiskey as a very serious player" in the international drinks market. He added that this has come about because of the way the drink had been promoted so successfully overseas.
"I do go abroad on a lot of trade missions and everywhere you go, nearly, the Irish Distillers name is ahead of you there," he said.
"We have very bright and bushy-tailed marketing people, I have to say. Certainly in Japan they have captured the market that 'drinking Irish whiskey is cool', whereas even Scotch is something got to do with past generations."
Irish Distillers CEO Anna Malmhake said production of whiskey was set to double here in the next 10 years and would employ almost 6,500 people by 2025.