29 November 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Irish Distillers today announces details of a €13 million investment plan which will see the redevelopment of its distillery experience at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork, transforming the attraction into a world-class whiskey destination.
Midleton Distillery is the beating heart of Irish whiskey and home to some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, including Jameson, Powers, Redbreast, Midleton Very Rare, the Spot family and Method and Madness, as well as the Irish Whiskey Academy, Irish Distillers’ Archive and the Micro Distillery.
As part of the plan, the existing attraction will be completely transformed to accommodate new and interactive whiskey tours and various tasting experiences, offering visitors the opportunity to explore more about the past, present and future of Irish whiskey production at Midleton Distillery. The redevelopment will also deliver state-of-the-art new shopping, bar, café and restaurant facilities.
In order to ensure that visitors receive the same great experience while construction is ongoing, an alternative purpose-built Irish whiskey attraction will continue to welcome visitors during the redevelopment. Construction will commence immediately and is expected be completed by 2025, in time to mark the 200-year anniversary of Midleton Distillery.
Commenting on the plan, Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO said: “Over the past 30 years, Midleton Distillery has become synonymous with Irish whiskey tourism, welcoming more than three million visitors from countries all over the world to our home in East Cork. At Irish Distillers, we are always looking towards the future of Irish whiskey, which is why we are delighted to announce our plans for the redevelopment of the distillery experience at Midleton. Our ambition is to deliver an exceptional, world-class experiential offering which will bring whiskey lovers closer to the production process than ever before.”
“These exciting plans will ensure that the distillery experience offers visitors a unique insight into the whiskeys produced at Midleton Distillery in exceptionally beautiful and engaging surroundings. We are confident that we can further build upon the appeal of Midleton Distillery for both domestic and international visitors, cementing its position as one of the top tourism attractions in Ireland while supporting jobs and economic growth in the East Cork region.”
“As we are committed to preserving and maintaining the beauty of the original distillery buildings, many of which date back to 1794, our redevelopment plan is centred around the conservation and restoration of existing structures, while transforming our visitor attraction to accommodate new and interactive whiskey tours and exciting tasting experiences. The redevelopment will therefore marry the old and the new, making improvements and upgrades to preserve the fabric of these buildings, all of which will ultimately contribute to an immersive and unique visitor experience,” he concluded.
Every element of the redevelopment has been planned with sustainability and efficiency in mind. The new visitor experience will feature a specially designed heat recovery system, meaning that excess energy from the production of world-renowned Irish whiskeys onsite in Midleton will be used to heat the buildings.
The introduction of the heat recovery system is predicted to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 200,000 KGs of CO2 per year, in line with Irish Distillers’ sustainability goals. Additionally, the switch to LED lighting throughout– close to 1,000 bulbs – will ensure a reduction in electricity consumption of +90 percent compared to existing usage.
New York headquartered Ralph Appelbaum Associates, who have specialist experience in the planning and design of cultural attractions around the world, will lead the design of the redevelopment project.
PJ Hegarty & Sons have been appointed as conservation and construction contractor, commenting: “PJ Hegarty & Sons are delighted to be appointed as contractor to undertake this prestigious project on behalf of Irish Distillers and we look forward to working closely with the team in Midleton to deliver their vision.”