Diageo secures go-ahead for its whiskey distillery

Diageo has secured the go-ahead for its €25m plan to construct a new distillery at its St James’s Gate base in Dublin for its new premium blended Irish whiskey, Roe & Co.

The maker of Guinness has also received planning permission for a visitor experience at the new facility at the former Guinness Power House on Thomas Street.

Diageo said that the visitor experience will celebrate the Roe & Co whiskey brand and the revival of craft brewing in Dublin. It aims to attract 50,000 visitors a year.

Production on the site is expected to begin in the first half of 2019. That means the first whiskey distilled at the site won’t be available for sale until 2022.

The new Diageo whiskey is named in honour whiskey maker George Roe, who is credited with helping to usher in the golden era of Irish whiskey in the 19th century.

Mr Roe’s distillery extended over 17 acres on Thomas Street and was once Ireland’s largest distillery.

The new distillery will have the capacity to produce 500,000 litres each year. The whiskey product is to be matured and bottled off site.

Planning documents lodged on behalf of Diageo state: “We believe that the proposal will bring significant regeneration benefits to the area and the city at large.”

Dublin City Council gave the go-ahead after concluding the development would provide a sustainable use for a currently disused part of the urban fabric, retaining part of the industrial heritage of the area. The granting of the application comes against the background of a resurgence in the Irish whiskey in recent years where exports have grown by over €215m over the past decade.

Head of the Irish Whiskey Association Miriam Mooney said recently the development of the new distillery was “a hugely significant chapter in the evolving Irish whiskey story”.

From having only four distilleries four years ago, there are 16 in production and a further 13 at an advanced planning stage.

A recently launched “Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy” aims to treble the number of “whiskey tourists” to Ireland from 650,000 to 1.9m by 2025.


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