Up until 2012 there were only 4 working and fully functioning Whiskey Distilleries in Ireland. All were owned by larger multinational companies; Kilbeggan (Co.Westmeath – Beam Suntory), Cooley (Co.Louth – Beam Suntory), Bushmills (Co.Antrim – Diageo) and Midleton (Co.Cork – Pernod Ricard.
With the release of the Irish Whiskey Assocation’s “Vision For Irish Whiskey” in May of this year Irish exports are expected to grow from 6.5million 9-litre cases a year to 24million 9-litre cases by 2030 and market share to grow by 300% between now and 2030, 4% to 12%.
Since 2012 planning permission for over 30 new distilleries has been submitted with many already having broken ground and cask on their sites and some already distilling or aging their whiskey for market sale. The most notable openings would be Tullamore DEW who opened their new facility on the 17th September 2014 and the Teeling Whiskey Company, the first distillery in Dublin in over 125 years and the only operational distillery in the capital, opening it’s doors on the 9th of June 2015.
Although these are the most notable they certainly aren’t the only distilleries to grace our small island!
- Dingle Distillery – Co.Kerry (Distilling)
- Echlinville Distillery – Co.Down (Distilling)
- AllTech – Co.Carlow (Distilling)
- Great Northen Distillery – Co.Louth (Distilling)
- Slane Castle Distillery – Co.Meath (Proposed)
- Walsh Whiskey Distillery – (Near Completion – Set to open 2016)
A few weeks ago I came across an article talking about a proposed distillery in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, on the site of a disused Mill. I was very intrigued about the project and so I dug deeper. Whilst searching I came across Steven Murphy, a young entrepreneur looking to break into the Irish Spirit Business with both Artisan Irish Whiskey and Gin.
Old Carrick Mill or OCM is an artisan craft distillery using a modern approach to instill old Irish traditions and flavour. Using completely 100% Irish raw ingredients the distillery aims to produce Whiskey and Gin. Steven Murphy, Managing Director at the OCM, is a young and up coming entrepreneur who is a well seasoned world traveler and very well versed in the craft of spirits.
About the actual Mill itself; Derrylavan Mill was built in the 18th century with one of the largest iron water wheels at that time. The mill was a major life line for the town of Carrickmacross. It had a fully working water wheel powered by the river Fane, a Kiln and malting floor.
The Mill has encountered years of damage and is now a mere shadow of it’s former glory. Steven plans to re-roof the mill so that work can begin on installing the equipment needed to begin the Whiskey process and christen another new distillery in Ireland.
When I asked Steven why he wanted to tranform this disused Mill and enter the hustle and bustle of the Irish Whiskey Industry, he simply gave this classic Mark Twain quote;
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough”.
This is where you come in! This is the first Irish Distillery Project that is offering you a chance to help. As of today the OCM Project has a live Kickstarter page, where Steven and his team hope to raise €40,000 of the needed €80,000 to help the distillery take off. The required amount is needed to re-roof the entire Mill. Any additional funds raised by the Kickstarter will be used towards additional state-of-the-art equipment needed to make the distillery a success.
Once open, the distillery will be able to produce 500 Litres of Whiskey per day. The aim is to have pot and column stills installed on site to produce all 3 styles of Irish Whiskey; Pot Still, Malt and Grain independently. Also, the distillery will have a custom gin still producing an additional 500 Litres.
Why Get Involved?
- Wouldn’t you love to say to your grand children that you helped the OCM distillery open it’s doors and, hopefully, become one of Ireland’s most renowned Artisan Distillers?
- Funding will be tiered for those who only want to donate the small amounts, but will accommodation for those who want to make a major difference.
- There will be rewards for those who invest, including;
- Branded OCM T-Shirts,
- OCM Posters,
- Branded Coaster
- Limited Edition Postcard
- Investment Gin Bottles (Buying the value of a 70cl Bottle from OCM allows you to fill this bottle with their exclusive Gin for just €1)
- The 1st Limited Edition Whiskey Barrel from OCM.
As of 11:59am today the Kickstarter Project is live and looking for your help to make this dream come true! The Irish Whiskey Renaissance is here and the OCM need you to donate to see this Mill transform from a derelict building to a beautiful new Artisan Distillery on this creative and prosperous little island.
Follow the link below to donate! As they say, “Every Little Helps”
A Toast to Tonight, A Toast The Dawn, A Toast to Tomorrow; Because I May Well Be Gone”