Men­tor­ing pro­gramme for dis­tillery new­com­ers

Irish Examiner - County - - News -

Mi­dle­ton Dis­tillery is at the fore­front of safe­guard­ing the high stan­dards as­so­ci­ated with Ir­ish whiskey.

Its own­ers, Ir­ish Dis­tillers, hosted new en­trants to the in­dus­try at a work­shop in the East Cork town’s dis­tillery last week.

In the last five years, 16 new dis­til­leries have opened in Ire­land and a fur­ther 29 are at the plan­ning or de­vel­op­ment stages.

The oc­ca­sion marked the launch of the Ir­ish Whiskey As­so­ci­a­tion’s (IWA) new ‘The Knowl­edge Still’ pro­gramme, a peer-to-peer men­tor­ing, in­no­va­tion, and sup­port pro­gramme,

The IWA has worked closely with its mem­ber dis­til­leries to pro­vide men­tor­ing and sup­port for new en­trants to the mar­ket.

The ‘Knowl­edge Still’ pro­gramme builds on this work, of­fer­ing new en­trants a struc­tured pro­gramme of work­shops, sem­i­nars, and one-to-one sup­port from ex­pe­ri­enced dis­tillers and in­dus­try ex­perts on a range of top­ics in­clud­ing best prac­tice dis­till­ing, in­no­va­tion in dis­till­ing and blend­ing, and health and safety man­age­ment.

The pro­gramme seeks to en­sure that all Ir­ish whiskey pro­duc­ers, par­tic­u­larly re­cent en­trants to the mar­ket, have ac­cess to ex­pert knowl­edge and guid­ance from ex­pe­ri­enced in­dus­try men­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to Brian Na­tion, mas­ter dis­tiller at Ir­ish Dis­tillers: “Ir­ish whiskey has wit­nessed a truly global re­nais­sance in the last decade. Much of this suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the ex­cep­tional crafts­man­ship, prod­uct in­no­va­tion, and un­re­lent­ing am­bi­tion of Ire­land’s dis­tillers.

“As the cat­e­gory con­tin­ues to evolve, we want to make sure we sup­port one an­other and build on the high stan­dards and in­no­va­tive think­ing that has served the sec­tor so well to date.

“We are ex­cited to open the doors to our Mi­dle­ton Dis­tillery and wel­come our peers from 14 dis­til­leries across the coun­try. We are par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing some of the newer en­trants to the mar­ket. Their pas­sion for their prod­uct and en­trepreneurial spirit is truly in­fec­tious and re­in­forces our own am­bi­tion for the sec­tor.”

Wil­liam Lavelle, head of the Ir­ish Whiskey As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Pro­tect­ing the high stan­dards of the Ir­ish whiskey in­dus­try and pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tion is key to the fu­ture suc­cess of the cat­e­gory.

“Our main goal is to pro­tect and pass on the high-qual­ity stan­dards which have be­come a hall­mark for Ir­ish whiskey.

“The Knowl­edge Still pro­gramme will en­sure that all dis­tillers and pro­duc­ers, both new and es­tab­lished, are fol­low­ing stan­dards of best prac­tice and pro­duc­ing a high­qual­ity Ir­ish whiskey prod­uct.”

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