Echlinville, which distils and bottles a range of premium and super-premium spirits, wants to grow its production facility in Kircubbin to help meet increasing global demand for its Irish whiskey and gin. Its brands include Dunville's Irish Whiskey, Weaver's Dry Gin and The Echlinville Irish Pot Still Gin.
Ivest Northern Ireland, which made the investment announcement, has helped the distillery by assisting trade activies and supporting it to secure a distribution agreement in Canada. It has now offered the distillery £659,000 to assist in the purchasing of new equipment, the extension of its storage facilities and job creation.
Kevin Holland, Invest Northern Ireland CEO, said: "Since establishing in 2012, Echlinville Distillery has developed a number of well-established brands which are making their mark on the international whiskey and gin market. This investment will enable it to grow further and develop its portfolio of award-winning products. With an emphasis on brand development, it will also drive growth in global sales of its premium and ultra-premium Irish whiskey and gin."
As well as increasing production capacity, the investment will support the development of an immersive visitor centre and 36 jobs, with operational, administrative and visitor centre roles on offer.
Shane Braniff, owner of Echlinville Distillery, said: "This investment will help us to substantially increase our production capacity and grow our export sales tenfold over the next five years. We are adding capacity in distillation, bottling, labelling, storage and brand development, all of which are key to further establishing our brands in major international markets including Russia and the US.
"As Northern Ireland's first farm distillery, our whiskey has 'field to glass' traceability - something that is increasingly important in the global food and drink industry. We have built a strong reputation based on that approach and the quality of our products. Irish whiskey is recognised as the world's fastest growing spirits category, which is giving us a great foundation upon which to build our export business with the help of this funding from Invest NI.
"Alongside increasing exports around the world, we also hope to raise awareness of what this part of Ireland has to offer and attract more visitors to the area with the development of our dedicated visitor centre."