Bacardi has bought a minority stake in Dublin-based Teeling Whiskey.
Teeling was established in 2012 by Irish entrepreneur Jack Teeling, who was later joined in the business by his brother Stephan. Volumes for the brand jumped 44% last year to almost 31,000 cases.
Teeling whiskies are stocked in 800 bars and 1700 outlets in Ireland and the company exports to more than 50 international markets.
The Teeling brothers opened a distillery in June 2015, which is set to undergo a €500,000 expansion to accommodate extra production and increase its visitor centre.
The facility has already attracted 185,000 visitors since opening, with visitor numbers doubling in the past 12 months.
Distribution deal in the United States
As part of the deal, Teeling’s range of Irish whiskies will be distributed in the US by Bacardi from September 1.
The US is the largest market for Irish whiskey with sales of more than 3.5 million nine litre cases in 2016.
“Joining forces with a partner of this calibre in the largest market for Irish whiskey is an important strategic development for us and is testament to what Teeling Whiskey has achieved over the past five years”, Jack Teeling told The Irish Times.
The famous Teeling Distillery. Source: @teeling_whiskey
Drinks companies jump on the booming Irish whiskey market
Irish whiskey has grown 131% by volume globally in the last decade, compared to a 13% rise for Scotch whisky and 56% rise for bourbon in the same period.
While Irish whiskey sales are smaller than scotch and bourbon sales volumes at just 7.8 million cases in 2015, the strong growth rate makes it the world’s fastest-growing spirit.
In its new ‘Export Performance and Prospects for 2016-2017’ report, Irish food board Bord Bia estimates that Irish whiskey exports will double in volume terms by 2020 compared to 2015, with a further two-fold increase to 24 million cases by 2030.
The Irish whiskey sector is currently dominated by Pernod Ricard’s Jameson brand, which makes up 67% of all global volume and is responsible for much of the category’s growth.
Last year, Jameson whiskey celebrated its 27th consecutive year of growth, selling more than 5.7 million cases worldwide for the year ending in June 2016. It represents one-quarter of Pernod Ricard’s total sales in the US, and is enjoying double and triple-digit growth in 62 of its 130 markets worldwide.
Meanwhile, Diageo is spending 25 million euros to build a distillery in Dublin to produce its new Roe & Co Irish whiskey label.
Teeling brothers: Stephan and Jack. “Teeling Whiskey plans expansion of the Teeling Distillery. Having attracted over 185,000 visitors over the last two years we’re looking to increase the size of our digs!” Source: @teeling_whiskey