Business

Co Down distillery secures deal with major Canadian distributor

Echlinville Distillery has secured an export deal with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.
Ryan McAleer

CO Down's Echlinville Distillery has secured an export deal for its Irish Whiskey brands with a major Canadian distributor.

The deal with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) will see Echilinville's Dunville's branded whiskey stocked in around 900 stores and outlets in the Canadian province.

It follows two trade missions to Canada by the Kircubbin distiller along with Invest NI and the Irish Whiskey Association.

IWSR, which produces global data for the drinks market, has reported an 83 per cent increase in the volume of Irish whiskey exported to Canada between 2014 and 2018. A further 77 per cent growth is anticipated, with exports to the Canadian market projected to reach 491,000 nine-litre cases per year by 2023.

The Echlinville Distillery, which already ships its whiskeys across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, expects to benefit from the surge in demand for premium whiskey.

Jarlath Watson from the Echlinville Distillery said: “When we revived the iconic Dunville's Irish Whiskey brand in 2012, we did so with the view to restoring it to its rightful place among the premier whiskeys of the world. With an ever-increasing international following, we are well on our way to achieving that goal.

“This new business with LCBO comes as we have also sent another major shipment to the USA, which means that Dunville's Irish Whiskey will have an increasing presence right across the lucrative North American market in the coming months,” he added.

John Hood, director of food and drink at Invest NI, said: “The Irish whiskey market has seen remarkable growth over the last ten years with Irish whiskey now one of the fastest growing premium spirit categories in the world.

“Our support for Echlinville included an introduction by our office in Canada with the LCBO during an Invest NI trade mission to Canada which helped the company to secure this deal.

“This success is testament to the quality Irish whiskey which Echlinville Distillery produces here, with only a handful of brands getting past LCBO's long and rigorous selection process.”

William Lavelle, who head of the Irish Whiskey Association, added: “Irish whiskey sales are booming in Canada and it is great to see new brands such as Dunville's launching across Canada.

“The Irish Whiskey Association has worked closely with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and Invest NI to secure access for more Irish whiskey brands to the large Ontario market and it is great to see this now bearing fruit for The Echlinville Distillery.”

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