By SAM BUTLER
Belfast Distillery Company is strengthening the international reach of its McConnell’s Irish Whiskey brand after agreeing a distribution deal with Waldemar Behn in Germany
The brand was revived by Belfast Distillery Company in 2020, and has secured partnerships with multiple international distributors since. It is also developing a distillery at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast.
Through Waldemar Behn, Germany is the latest market to introduce McConnell’s Five Year Old Blend, the brand’s signature expression.
Belfast Distillery Company chief executive John Kelly said: “McConnell’s brand was born in Belfast in 1776 and we have been working hard to re-establish McConnell’s in our home market, while developing our distribution network internationally.
“As it says on the label, we are proud to be following in the footsteps of James and John McConnell and we are excited to see McConnell’s Irish whiskey travel from Belfast to Boston, and beyond.
“We are delighted to secure a distribution agreement with Waldemar Behn, one of Germany’s oldest and most well recognised family-owned companies in the alcohol sector.”
Rüdiger Behn, owner and managing director of Waldemar Behn, based near Kiel, commented: “We have been watching the Irish whiskey category grow both in Germany and globally and have been keen to find the right partner in this space.
“McConnell’s Irish Whiskey is exactly what we have been looking for – great liquid and packaging which we know will be a success with German consumers.
“This could be seen by the reaction received at Bar Convent Berlin and we are pleased to welcome McConnell’s into the Waldemar Behn portfolio.”
Mr Kelly added: “The durability of the McConnell’s brand is testament to the high quality spirit and remarkable packaging that we have to offer our distributor partners and consumers.
“As one of Ireland’s longest-established brands, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that our whiskey is taking its place amongst the Irish whiskey category’s most renowned spirits.
“We are delighted with the recognition for our product and the reward now coming to the hard working, talented team at Belfast Distillery Company. “McConnell’s is undergoing a revival, bringing this Belfast brand to a growing and diverse international whisky market; we are very proud to see it on the global stage at a time when competition is intense in the category.”
Other markets added to the global distribution map for McConnell’s in the second half of 2021 include Poland, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, China plus Ontario and Alberta in Canada.