Halewood International, a UK-based manufacturer and distributor of spirits, wine and beer, is looking to develop an Irish distillery where it can produce its Peaky Blinder Irish whiskey.
The company, which is headquartered in Liverpool, is the owner of Sadler's Brewery in Lye, near Birmingham.
In 2014, Sadler's launched an ale in honour of the hit Birmingham-based BBC show Peaky Blinders, which features Corkman Cillian Murphy as character Tommy Shelby.
In 2017, Halewood bought a majority stake in Sadler's. In that same year, the company registered 'Peaky Blinder' as its official trademark in the beer and spirits category.
Sadler's has released a range of Peaky Blinder spirits, including the Irish whiskey, gin and rum. Its whiskey was previously made by a distillery in Co Cork.
Speaking with the Sunday Independent, a spokesman for Halewood said the company had recently closed the Sadler's Brewery in Lye and was looking to transfer some of the equipment to the site it acquires in Ireland. The equipment from the Sadler's Brewery would be used in the production of its Peaky Blinder whiskey.
Halewood confirmed it is shifting the brewing of Sadler's beer to Cumbria. Local media reports around 25 staff at the site face redundancy.
The move by Halewood would mark its first distillery in Ireland, having previously had an arrangement with West Cork Distillers, based in Skibbereen. Halewood had a stake in West Cork Distillers, which the Irish company is believed to have bought out for an estimated €18m.
Halewood, which also produces Pogues Irish Whiskey, said that it was eyeing up properties across Ireland where it could build a distillery.
The spokesman for Halewood added that its search for a property was at too early a stage for it to comment on how many jobs or the level of investment that would be required to build the distillery.
Halewood reported double-digit revenue growth in the year to June 2019, with pre-tax profits hitting £26.3m (€31.2m). It has plans for international expansion in North America, Russia, China and Australia through acquisition and investment in sales infrastructure.
Sunday Indo Business