The newly developed Drioglann Oileán Acla (Achill Island Distillery) was officially launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. in Achill, on the 14 June 2019, where he also performed the official opening of the Achill Distillery Visitor Centre, located on the Údarás na Gaeltachta business park in Bun an Churraigh, Acaill, Co. Mayo.
The distillery, developed by Irish American Trading Company with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta, is the first Island-based distillery in Ireland and the company estimates it will provide up to 25 jobs, across the distillery and visitor centre when it is fully operational and at capacity in the coming years. The impressive visitor centre will be an added tourism attraction along the Mayo Wild Atlantic Way route and the development is being welcomed as a significant positive boost for the area.
Drioglann Oileán Acla is a valuable development for the area, not only in terms of direct jobs but as an added tourism attraction.aÚdarás na Gaeltachta Director for Enterprise and Employment, Mark De Faoite
The Irish American Trading Company was founded by CEO John McKay in 2014 with a mission to bring to life a lifestyle brand that epitomised the enduring relationship between Ireland and America. IrishAmerican started production of its IrishAmerican Classic Blend and IrishAmerican ten-year-old Single Malt, in 2015. The whiskeys, double distilled in copper pot stills and aged in American oak barrels in Ireland, are being exported to 11 states in the US currently and is the official Whiskey of the American Embassy in Ireland. At present, IrishAmerican source their whiskeys from existing distilleries in Ireland and are subsequently blended into their own brand and they will now look to begin the distilling process from scratch in their Achill distillery to supplement stocks into the future. The award winning whiskeys have forged strong connections with the Irish and Mayo diaspora in the US in recent years in cities such as New York, Boston and Cleveland and on trade missions with Údarás na Gaeltachta.
Two enormous copper pot stills, manufactured in Scotland and accompanied at dawn across the bridge to Achill Island by the inspiring strains of ‘The Wests Awake’ by a lone piper recently, form the remarkable centrepiece of the visitors centre which will add significantly to the excellent visitor experiences that are available on Achill Island. The American prohibition themed visitors centre, the welcoming Barley Field bar and the informative tour of the distilling process will certainly prove to be a highlight for many visitors to Ireland.
Irish American Trading Company have invested up to €4m in their activities to date and have developed the distillery and visitors centre in the Achill Island Gaeltacht with the support of a €174,000 capital investment package from Údarás na Gaeltachta to renovate the Údarás owned building in which the facility is located.
Údarás na Gaeltachta Director for Enterprise and Employment, Mark De Faoite noted at the launch, “Drioglann Oileán Acla is a valuable development for the area, not only in terms of direct jobs but as an added tourism attraction, the benefits of which will extend beyond the immediate community as visitors plan their route along the Wild Atlantic Way to take in this experience. Drioglann Acla will also form an essential part of a burgeoning Gaeltacht Distillery Trail being developed by entrepreneurs in differing Gaeltacht areas with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta.”