ENNISKILLEN’S Boatyard Distillery is creating six new jobs and ramping up production after securing a major cash boost.
Two years after setting up at Tully Bay on the shores of Lough Erne, owner Joe McGirr is reaping the rewards of his Double and Old Tom gins as he prepares to launch a new vodka.
The first working distillery in Enniskillen since 1887 has secured a £100,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund to increase production and fund working capital requirements. Boatyard has secured overall investment of £335,000 from a range of companies. This cash injection will create six new jobs to support product development and help fulfil new export contracts recently secured in Denmark, Switzerland and the USA.
Coa man Joe says while the gin market is now very competitive, Boatyard has managed to stand out among some strong local brands.
“Our gin is unique in that some of the botanicals used to distil it are grown on the family farm, in particular sweet-gale gathered from the bogs of Fermanagh. Our double gin has secured over £250,000 of sales in its first year and all 1,200 bottles of our Old Tom gin sold out within 48 hours of launch.”
Joe is preparing to launch his first vodka product in the coming weeks and says the Growth Loan Fund has enabled the local distillery to purchase two additional stills to increase productivity.
“We’ve been working on our vodka product for the past year and we’re excited to bring it to market this month. The wheat used in our vodka is harvested in Kildare and we can trace how it was grown by the farmer, right back to the field it was planted in.
“Our vodka’s unique selling point is that it isn’t filtered which helps preserve the taste and lock in the flavour,” he said.
Having recently launched products in Switzerland and Denmark, Boatyard will take on the US market when it’s released there next month.
“We are exploring other markets and we’ll also be introducing a gift range in the coming months,” Joe added.
The Boatyard is already in partnerships with Harrods, Marks & Spencer and Ireland’s three major airports which has given the brand international exposure amongst consumers.