New distillery opens following £1m investment and creation of 40 new jobs over five years
A new County Down family-owned distillery has opened following the investment of almost £1m which also includes the production of two premium spirits using locally sourced ingredients aimed at the home and export market and is set to generate 40 new jobs over the next five years.
R&R Distillery Ireland is located on the Ballygowan Road in the Castlereagh hills in state-of-the-art purpose-built premises where the two new spirits are expertly crafted.
Backyard Whiskey is distilled from carefully fermented grains aged in wooden casks, and Backyard Vodka is made with organically grown wheat and branded with the iconic Harland and Wolff, Samson, and Goliath Cranes, to promote the authenticity of these uniquely Northern Ireland products.
The husband-and-wife entrepreneurs who own the distillery, Robin and Reyna Herron from Bangor, say it has been a labour of love from inception to finally getting their drinks into the hands of customers.
Commenting on the launch of the two premium spirits, R&R Distillery Ireland director, Robin Herron said: “We pondered the concept for several years before travelling around Europe fact finding and exploring the finer details and specifications, and eventually having our copper stills hand made for us in Canada.
“However, the most important thing in creating any great spirit is that you need great ingredients and we have been delighted to be able to source the purest and highest quality ingredients locally. The key ingredient for any premium spirit is water and our distillery has been sited where we have our very own spring water well.”
Reyna Herron added: “We are mindful of our commitment to local sourcing and our environmental responsibilities. I believe we have come up with some really exciting and innovative solutions to recycling by-products through a biotechnology company to produce natural nutrients in farmed fish feed.
“We are constantly seeking to innovate in the delivery of sustainable, green alternatives to conventional packaging used in the drinks sector and are engaged with biotech partners to progress exciting projects in this area. Already we are piloting a bottle return scheme with the trade and hope if successful to extend this to the public”.
Already the business has created jobs for three people with projections of between 10 and 15 in the first eighteen months rising to over 40 in years three to five. The supply chain will underpin further employment within the local economy.
Robin and Reyna Herron of the new R&R Distillery