Killowen small batch distillery in Rostrevor is a founding member of the new Irish Whiskey Guild along with Blackwater Distillery, JJ Corry Irish Whiskey and WD O’Connell Whiskey Merchants, all based in the Republic.
The guild has been created to support and advocate for independent producers.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We are excited to launch the guild today.
“We are seeing a second wave of independent producers enter the category who are faced with the same challenges as the first wave, but with the added pressure of Covid-19 in a time of unprecedented change and growth in the industry.
“We want to build a vibrant, diverse community of independent producers, sharing information and resources, benefitting the entire independent producer category and, of course, our consumers.
“We will provide support on a practical and educational level to members, as well as a confident, strong voice to the Department of Agriculture on a range of legislative issues that is not currently heard.
“Businesses around the country have been harmed by the effects of Covid-19 and it is right to come together now and support each other to ensure a vibrant, well-informed and diverse independent producer category thrives in years to come.”
The guild said it would aim to provide a “positive contribution to the Irish whiskey sector” by giving producers a say in the category’s future, as well as offering peer-to-peer sector support and advice.
The Irish Whiskey Guild will also focus on lobbying for matters that are unique to smaller businesses.