Glens of Antrim Distillery complete first Irish whiskey shipment to the US

Founders of Glens of Antrim Distillery, Michael, Mary and Charlie McKillop with Lir Green Crest in Cushendall.
Founders of Glens of Antrim Distillery, Michael, Mary and Charlie McKillop with Lir Green Crest in Cushendall.

THE company behind plans for a new Irish whiskey distillery and visitor centre in Cushendall has completed its first shipment to the United States.

The Glens of Antrim Distillery has exported 7,000 bottles of its Lir Green Crest whiskey into the American market.

It marks a significant milestone for the Irish whiskey venture, first conceived by the McKillop family in 2016.

The family are best known for the Glens of Antrim potato and crisp operation in Cushendall.

Glens of Antrim is among a number of new entrants to emerge in the growing Irish whiskey scene.

The company’s application for a new distillery in the Co Antrim village is still under active consideration by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, more than two-and-a-half years after entering the planning process.

The McKillops hope to have the distillery up and running by 2024.

Read more

  • Recalling Belfast's 'hidden' Irish whiskey heritage
  • Cushendall crisp-maker Glens of Antrim bags fresh Tesco deal
  • New book explores Ireland's booming whiskey industry
  • Two Stacks: The art of the blend

Meanwhile, the company has been building up its signature Lir brand, including its Green Crest whiskey blend.

“During my recent visit to New York and New Jersey I met with dozens of new clients and forged many great relationships with our new customers,” said co-founder Michael McKillop.

“Over the last decade, Irish whiskey has led the alcoholic drinks sector, consistently recording the highest growth across all spirits with Irish whiskey sales forecast to reach 300 million bottles per annum by 2030.

“We believe our brand will resonate with American consumers who appreciate the tradition and craftsmanship that goes into making our whiskey.”

Distillery co-founder, Mary McKillop added: "It was always our intention to scale the brand and we are always open to new opportunities.

“Currently we are in the planning stages for our new distillery building at our home in Cushendall which will bring a new tourism offering to the Antrim Glens with distillery tours and a restaurant as well as creating employment in the local area.”