The Irish Spirits Association recently hosted the inaugural meeting of Ireland’s gin producers.

Recent figures suggest that gin has grown by 31.6% year-on-year in on-trade value to reach €74 million. Mirroring this, preliminary figures from the CSO suggest that 2017 may see a significant and unprecedented increase in exports of gin from Ireland. This new group will provide a strong voice for one of Ireland’s fastest growing sectors.

The inaugural meeting provided a forum to scope out key issues affecting the sector. The group agreed that their number one priority was to support the creation of a legally-recognised standard for Irish Gin. Pat Rigney, Managing Director of The Shed Distillery has been elected chair of the new group.

The Department of Agriculture and Food was also represented at the meeting, where regulatory issues affecting producers was discussed.

Speaking about the meeting, head of the Irish Spirits Association, William Lavelle said, “Recent years have seen a resurgence in the market for gin as consumers seek to try out different brands. Consumers are looking at new combinations for which this age-old product can complement modern tastes. In Ireland, this resurgence in interest has been matched by an explosion in the number of brands of Irish gin producers with over 30 Irish brands now on the market.”

“While the domestic market has been key for to this growth, competition and innovation in the sector is also leading to export growth opportunities. Many Irish Gin producers are working with Bord Bia to enter new markets and increase their exports. The Irish Spirts Association is working to support the continued growth of Irish spirits exports in line with the FoodWise 2025 strategy.”

Pictured: Pat Rigney, Managing Director of The Shed Distillery.