Irish Whiskey on the Rise, Hurray!
Whiskey...the magical elixir that is sunshine in a glass. Is it any wonder the Irish, whose island is notoriously damp and grey, created their own sunshine? They have, in fact, become one of the world leaders in whiskey production, exports of Irish whiskey have increased 220% since 2003. The Irish import to 77 countries, and 28% of beverge imports from Ireland are whiskey. Wow! The worldwide excitement over Irish whiskey has grown by such leaps and bounds that in 2014 the Irish Whiskey Association was formed to "represent the rapidly expanding Irish whiskey industry...." Their goal is to expand the market for Irish whiskey export and tourism, creating jobs and economic growth throughout the island, while maintaining the quality and integrity of this much beloved beverage. Irish Whiskey Association Recently the Irish Whiskey Association laid out their goals in their "Vision for Irish Whiskey", a 52 page document (found here) detailing how they plan to increase the number of distilleries by 26 (there are now 8 major distilleries), to ensure that the supply meets the demand; to increase whiskey tourism from the current 600,000 to 800,000 in the medium term (think 5-8 years or so); and increase global market share to 12% from the current 4%. Statistics and numbers are all well and good, but what does this mean for the consumer? Y'know...those of us who drink the stuff? It means everything. More tourism centres, in more places in Ireland mean maybe someday you'll be able to travel the entire Island sampling the finest whiskeys they have to offer. It also means that the variety will increase, with new blends and distillations to tease our palates. Best of all, we won't run short. Yes, with all this growth we can be sure of an adequate supply (is there such a thing as an adequate supply of whiskey?) to the U.S. and other countries, insuring the legacy of the Irish lives on. Irishtimes.com "Distillers second golden age of whiskey"[/caption]