William Grant & Sons Ltd, the owner of Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey, has announced it will invest in a new, state of the art pot still whiskey and malt whiskey distillery in Tullamore town, bringing whiskey production back to the town for the first time since the original distillery closed in 1954.
The €35 million investment will meet the long-term production demands for Tullamore DEW, the world’s second largest Irish whiskey brand, which is currently growing by over 15% annually and is central to the growth plans of William Grant & Sons which bought the brand in July 2010.
William Grant & Sons has agreed principal terms and is in the final stages of negotiating the purchase of a 58 acre site at Clonminch on the outskirts of Tullamore from Offaly County Council. The location offers a plentiful supply of natural, quality spring water from the nearby Slieve Bloom mountains, ideal for the triple distillation process used in Tullamore DEW.
Work on the new distillery, which will utilise the latest in green technology is scheduled to begin later this year, subject to planning permission, and will support in the region of 100 construction jobs during the two-year building phase.
When combined with the new Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre, scheduled to open in September 2012, the total number employed by the firm in the town will rise to around 25. Tullamore DEW will continue to be bottled at its current facility in Clonmel, where it employs over 60 people.
“This investment by William Grant & Sons underpins our long-term commitment to Tullamore DEW, the town of Tullamore and Ireland. It represents an important next step in the long-term growth and development of the Tullamore DEW brand, one of Ireland’s food and drink export success stories which is now the second largest selling Irish whiskey worldwide. We’re excited about bringing whiskey distilling back to Tullamore DEW’s roots for the first time in almost 60 years.” said William Grant & Sons’ Chief Executive, Stella David.
“The new distillery will not only cement William Grant & Sons’ presence in Ireland, but reinforces the fact that the brand is now firmly rooted back in its original home of Tullamore. Our distillery will combine traditional distillation practices with the very latest in modern and green technologies to prepare the brand for future growth, while making sure the exact same taste and quality which has made Tullamore DEW famous around the world continues to be delivered. Irish whiskey is a major growth story internationally and with this investment we’re looking forward to putting Tullamore DEW and the Midlands region back on the map as one of Ireland’s premier whiskey producing regions,” said William Grant & Sons’ Group Marketing Director, Maurice Doyle.
“Offaly County Council is extremely pleased and proud to welcome Tullamore DEW back home in this manner. William Grant & Sons has invested significantly in the brand over the past 18 months with the refurbishment of the Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre, and now with the plans to construct the distillery have shown the ultimate commitment to the region. Tullamore has long been famed for its production of whiskey and I look forward to the first liquid flowing from the stills,” said County Manager, Offaly County Council, Pat Gallagher.
Tullamore DEW Global Brand Director Shane Hoyne said the new distillery was a key element of the international growth of Irish whiskey.
“If you think back to the 1800s there were literally hundreds of distilleries and many hundreds more stills dotted all around the country. Since then however Irish whiskey was decimated due to a number of factors including Prohibition, the Great Depression and our own economic and political troubles here at home. Tullamore DEW is ‘Irish True’ and re-establishing Tullamore DEW’s distillation in a world class distillery in Tullamore, combined with the imminent opening of the new Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre establishes both a real and an emotional home for the brand. This is a dream come true for the brand and its fans around the world and I am sure Daniel E Williams, whose name our whiskey bears, will be looking down proudly seeing whiskey production resume in the town he loved.”
Tullamore DEW is currently one of the fastest growing Irish whiskey brands, almost doubling worldwide sales to almost 700,000 cases since 2005. It is the largest selling Irish whiskey in many markets in Northern and Central Europe while in several countries, including Denmark, Czech Republic and Latvia it is the largest selling whisk(e)y of any type. The plan for a new distillery has been prompted by the brand’s rapid growth, driven largely by increased consumer demand for Irish whiskey in the USA and emerging Irish whiskey markets such as Germany, Sweden and Eastern Europe where the brand already occupies a leadership position and is outperforming its competitors.