People in the US will be travelling to south Donegal – virtually – through a unique campaign promoting Irish spirits.
Sliabh Liag Distillers has been included in Bord Bia’s single largest investment to date, the Spirit of Ireland campaign.
The educational programme brings off-license and bar staff in the US on virtual reality tours of twenty of Ireland’s distilleries, featuring interviews with master distillers and barrel coopers so staff can learn first-hand from brand owners in Ireland what makes their product unique and distinctive. The campaign offers a unique sensory experience using “scratch and sniff” cards to smell and experience barley fields and barrel houses, all aimed at creating an in-depth understanding of Irish spirits.
In 2020, Sliabh Liag Distillery carried out the first legal whiskey distillation in Donegal in nearly 200 years. The company, which was established in Carrick, moved its distilling operations to a new purpose-built distillery in Ardara last year.
Watch the virtual tour here:
The Spirit of Ireland campaign aims to build on the strong exports of Irish alcohol to the US. In 2021 Irish beverage exports to the US were valued at €657 million, up 17% from €561 million in 2020. That recovery was most robust in Irish whiskey and cream liqueur exports.
Officially launching the Spirit of Ireland drinks trade communication campaign with the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., said: “Irish spirits are now exported to over 130 countries around the world and experiencing a renaissance. From Irish whiskey to Irish gin, and traditional Irish poitín to Irish cream liqueur, they form an evolving, innovative sector that is on a fast growth trajectory in the US. Bord Bia’s new drinks trade communication campaign in the US demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to the US market, build the awareness of this growing spirits category and positively influence commercial success.”
The campaign will be rolled out with 17 liquor control boards in the US, the government agencies that regulates the sale of alcoholic beverages at a wholesale level in specific states. While being officially launched in Ohio as part of the trade mission, Spirit of Ireland will be further rolled out within key control state markets for Irish alcohol in the US and also in Canada over the course of 2022 and into 2023, building longevity and deepening programme awareness.