Dingle Distillery seeking to double capacity with upgrade

Permission sought for works to create 60 jobs and improve visitor experience in Kerry

How Dingle Distillery will look after the proposed upgrade: the existing facility is the building on the right.

How Dingle Distillery will look after the proposed upgrade: the existing facility is the building on the right.

 

Dingle Distillery in Co Kerry is seeking planning permission for a multimillion-euro upgrade of its premises that will create at least 60 jobs, improve the visitor experience and eventually double capacity.

The “visual upgrade” to the facility, which was originally a sawmill, will involve new purpose-built tasting rooms and seek to create a greater flow to its visitor centre.

“Irish whiskey is becoming more and more popular and we see more and more visitors wanting to come to the distillery so we want to be able to cater for that,” said master distiller Graham Coull.

“There will be purpose-built tasting rooms. We hope to lay out the whole distillery experience better so there is more flow to it and then visitors can enjoy the products in a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

“In the peak periods, we would have had to turn people away because we couldn’t cater for them. The demand is there and Ireland is becoming a whiskey destination in itself where you will get whiskey enthusiasts coming to see the distilleries.”

Tourism bounce-back

Mr Coull added he was confident tourism would quickly bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elliot Hughes, managing director at Dingle Distillery, said the development would be of benefit to the entire local community.

“The new Dingle Distillery aims to be a visual upgrade of the current premises, but more importantly we’re creating a minimum of 60 jobs once it’s open, and many more with local contractors in the lead-up to the build and opening,” he said.

“We’re planning on supporting local businesses and suppliers and ensuring we’re well-stocked with community-based products in our gift shop, showcasing the best that Dingle has to offer.

“The investment is not just in the distillery but in the community, too, as we strive to further tourist interest in Dingle, encouraging visitors to stay for longer, and to shop, eat and drink locally.”

‘Huge step forward’

Separately, the distillery has developed its first core whiskey, Dingle Single Malt, which was described as “a milestone in the distillery’s history and a huge step forward” in terms of its growth.

Some 50,000 bottles of the triple-distilled, non-chill filtered Dingle Single Malt have been produced and will be sold domestically as well as exported to key international markets including the UK, Germany, France, China and, later this year, the US.

The distillery expects to produce 100,000 bottles of Dingle Single Malt, and half a million bottles across the distillery’s portfolio, by 2023. Each element of the production is manual, while the distillery’s water source is its own well, 240m below ground.

The whiskey is priced at €55 per bottle, and contains 46.3 per cent alcohol per volume. “By adding significant volume to our business, we can open up new markets and broaden our appeal to attract a new type of customer,” Mr Hughes said.