By James Atkinson
William Grant & Sons, 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 move follows Beam's recent purchase of Cooley's distillery and is further indication of an increasing focus by distillers on Irish whiskey, which is Australia's fastest growing whiskey category, achieving 19.5 per cent growth in the latest quarter (to March 18, 2012).
The €35 million ($45 million) investment will meet the long-term production demands for Tullamore Dew, the world's second largest Irish whiskey brand, which is growing by over 15 per cent annually after having been acquired by William Grant & Sons in July 2010.
William Grant & Sons chief executive, Stella David, said the new distillery cements the company's presence in Ireland, and reinforces the fact that the brand is now firmly rooted back in its original home of Tullamore.
"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," added William Grant & Sons group marketing director, Maurice Doyle.
Work on the new distillery is scheduled to begin later this year, subject to planning permission.