Business Irish

Sunday 24 September 2017

Glass half full for whiskey fans

Jack and Stephen Teeling
Jack and Stephen Teeling

For those who recall the song, it used to be buttermilk all the week and whiskey on a Sunday. Now it seems there'll be so much of the liquid gold being made there won't even be space for buttermilk on the shelves. Serial entrepreneur John Teeling epitomises the new dawn of Irish whiskey making, having sold his Cooley Distillery in 2011 to US giant Beam for about €71m. There have been so many whiskey companies set up around the country of late that The Punt can't keep track any more.

Mr Teeling's sons Jack and Stephen (pictured below) just this week announced another whiskey venture for the family. With a €10m investment, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery will open in the Liberties in Dublin and result in the creation of 30 jobs. A visitor centre is expected to draw 100,000 tourists a year. But even with that venture only getting underway, John Teeling has just set up another company – the Waterford Whiskey Company. Could it be that every county in Ireland deserves its own distillery or whiskey brand?

In the early 1800s, there were close to 90 legal distilleries in Ireland and an estimated 800 illegal ones. By 1900, the number of legal distilleries had fallen to just 30. The industry, it would seem, is on course for a return to its heyday.

Irish Independent

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