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At the launch of the Irish Whiskey Association, from left, John Quinn, Tullamore Dew, Noel McLoughlen, Burren Irish Whiskey, Aoife Keane, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, Jim Breen, Tullamore Dew, and Derek O'Dwyer, Alltech

A whiskey toast to the Burren

THE Irish Whiskey Association (IW), launched last week by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney,  has revealed that the sector is set to invest over €1 billion in Ireland in the next 10 years.

Clare-based Burren Irish Whiskey, who are building a distillery, are members of the newly formed association and were  represented at the launch.

With over 15 new distilleries currently being developed across the country, the new association brings together new entrants and existing companies to promote Irish whiskey and to ensure the product is given vital protection going forward.

Irish whiskey exports have grown by 220% since 2003 and are now valued at €350m.  In 2003, Irish whiskey made up just over 9% of beverages exports, which has grown to over 28% of total beverages exports from Ireland. According to the association  export numbers are to double to 12 million cases by 2020 and double again to 24 million cases by 2030.

Irish whiskey employs 5,000 directly and indirectly and this is  set to grow to 6,500 by 2025. Turnover for the industry is almost €400m and visitor centres attract over 500,000 tourists every year.

 

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