Irish Distillers invest 250 million euros in Middleton Distillery

Irish Distillers are investing a quarter of a billion euros in building a new distillery in Middleton, County Cork.

The new distillery will be built on 55 acres adjacent to its current facility in the city and will employ 100 people.

Last week, Irish Distillers announced financial results revealing that for the first time, Jameson whiskey sold more than 10 million cans worldwide in the fiscal year through the end of June.

Jameson is now considered the fastest growing Irish whiskey in the world.

Today’s announcement is the company’s response to keeping pace with this sales growth.

Irish Distillers will seek planning permission before the end of the year for a new distillery on the land adjacent to its existing facility in Middleton.

It says it expects construction to begin next year, and up to 800 people will be employed during the three-year construction phase, with 100 permanent jobs after that.

The new distillery will produce distilled whiskey and grain and is expected to increase demand for barley and malted barley from Irish farmers by up to 50%.

Irish Distillers say the new distillery will be a carbon neutral operation, in line with its goal to make all of its facilities in East Cork carbon neutral by 2026.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, today’s announcement and the worldwide success of Irish whiskey was something to be proud of.

“Whiskey has been distilled in Middleton for nearly 200 years, and the €250 million investment will create hundreds of additional jobs in the future, both during construction and once the distillery is operational,” he said.

“Today’s announcement is a very positive development for Middleton and the wider region, and will cement Middleton’s reputation as the home of Irish whiskey.”

Irish Distillers Chairman and CEO Nodjame Fouad said the new distillery is essential for the company to keep pace with future sales growth.

“We are extremely proud of the continued strong performance of our entire portfolio of Irish whiskey, led by Jameson who sold over 10 million cases in our fiscal year 2022,” she said.

Najam Fouad from the Irish Distillery Company

“The new distillery will be a beautiful and landmark development with sustainability at its core, and will serve to demonstrate our commitment to Middleton and East Cork, creating more jobs for the region and increasing recognition of Middleton Distillery as the beating heart of Irish whiskey,” she added.

The new distillery will secure the future of the distillery in East Cork, said Tommy Keane, Irish Distillery Operations Manager.

“We are extremely proud of Middleton’s well-earned reputation as the home of some of the world’s most beloved Irish whiskeys, and today’s announcement, along with the €13 million ongoing visitor experience redevelopment, will cement Middleton’s reputation as a world-renowned whiskey destination.”

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, highlighted the job creation potential of the project.

“This planned investment will have an important impact on the local community, by creating up to 100 new jobs in East Cork, plus hundreds more during the construction phase,” he said.

“It also demonstrates Irish Distillers’ continued long-term commitment to Ireland and its ambitions for sustainability.”

The new distillery will use innovative mechanical vapor recompression (MVR) technology, which will see the closed loop system capture, compress and recycle the heat lost in the distillation process.

Renewable energy sources, including green hydrogen and biogas, will be used to power the distillery.

Irish Distillers says it has partnered with local company EI-H2 to explore opportunities for green hydrogen and has conducted extensive research in partnership with MaREI, Ireland’s science research center for Energy, Climate and Marine, hosted by University College Cork, to identify the potential of bio-methane by-products of distillation and design Anaerobic digestion process required for biogas production.

Irish Distillers produce some of the most popular Irish whiskeys, including Jameson.

The company’s whiskey is exported to more than 130 markets around the world.

She says many of these have double or triple growths.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 in a merger between John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988, Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard.

Since 2012 Irish Distillers has invested more than 250 million euros to double production and packaging capacity to meet global demand for its products.

The company employs more than 800 people in Cork and Dublin.

Pernod Ricard owns 17 of the world’s top spirits brands. It employs nearly 20,000 people.