Boatyard Distillery gains £600,000 investment for growth

Boatyard Distillery in Northern Ireland has gained additional investment of £600,000 for the development of award winning double gin, vodka and forthcoming Irish malt whiskey especially in export markets

The craft distillery, based near Enniskillen in county Fermanagh, has currently been producing hand sanitiser in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has just won a listing from Tesco in Northern Ireland for the product. It’s the first local distillery to win business from Tesco Northern Ireland.

Boatyard Distillery, founded and owned by Joe McGirr, secured the investment through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) from private investors and Co-Fund II.

The distillery and visitor centre was set up by Mr McGirr in 2016 on the back of his extensive experience in spirits production and marketing. It currently produces Boatyard Double Gin, Old Tom Gin and vodka. The company is a Food NI member.

“We are really pleased to secure this investment and excited about the unique experience our new investors will bring, particularly when it comes to growing our presence overseas,” says Mr McGirr.

“The gin market remains highly competitive but we offer something different, with some botanicals grown on the family farm.

“Right now, Covid-19 has interrupted some of our immediate plans but we have responded to the situation by being innovative and using our expertise to produce a product that is not only in high demand but which our health service and key workers desperately need. We are pleased to play our part in the fight against Covid-19 by donating supplies to help those people on the frontline doing great work for everyone in the Fermanagh region.”

The company has secured deals with supermarket chains M&S and Waitrose to stock their products across the UK and Ireland. The double gin uses a blend of botanicals including Fermanagh Sweet Gaei.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, the distillery diversified and started production of hand sanitiser, to World Health Organisation specifications.

Boatyard Distillery has given away more than 1,200 litres of sanitiser to front line services in Fermanagh including to NHS key workers and supermarket staff and is now selling the product to customers in other industries, both locally and internationally.

The sanitiser will be stocked in Tesco stores in Northern Ireland from this week.