By SAM BUTLER
Award-winning Two Stacks Irish Whiskey in Newry is in line for a major boost in sales as a result of a deal with the Licensed Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), one of the world’s largest buyers of alcohol.
The success in Canada comes as Irish Craft Beverages (ICB), owner of Two Stacks, completes work on its new headquarters and bonded warehouse outside Newry.
Shane McCarthy, ICB chief executive, says: “Achieving an LCBO listing is an important breakthrough for us in the Canadian marketplace because the company is the biggest retailer and wholesaler there of beers and spirits throughout the nation.”
LCBO is an Ontario government enterprise and one of the world’s largest buyers and retailers of beverage alcohol.
Through more than 660 retail stores, catalogues, e-commerce, special order services, close to 400 LCBO convenience outlets, which provide cost effective, convenient and socially responsible access for rural consumers, and as wholesaler to almost 450 grocery stores, the LCBO offers more than 28,000 products annually from more than 80 countries to consumers and licensed establishments.
The launch of the new ICB facility also coincides with the small company’s outstanding success in winning gold in the influential London Spirits Competition for its game changing Dram in a Can and silver for its Blender’s Cut Irish whiskeys, both of which are being marketed worldwide under Two Stacks, a fast developing brand.
Shane adds the new bonded whiskey warehouse, which will also be branded under Two Stacks, is the first of its kind in Newry in over a century.
“It’s a major stepping stone for Two Stacks to choose Newry as its city of choice.
“The location offers major benefits for us as an ideal location between Belfast and Dublin, offering access to a thriving population and a prosperous future ahead of it with lots of technology companies headquartered here in Newry.
“There’s also a new infrastructure investment coming to the city in the short-term,” adds Shane, who runs the business with directors Liam Brogan and Donal McLynn.
The expansion, he continues, has come off the back of the success of the Two Stacks Irish whiskey range in global markets, expanding to over 20 countries in the past 12 months.
“We’ve just signed a substantial deal in Australia and have identified other opportunities for us in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the US, Canada, India and South Africa.
“Invest NI’s trade support helped us to win the business in Australia and the US,” he says
The revolutionary Dram in A Can, the first-ever handy canned whiskey which has attracted endorsement from expert judges in the London Spirits Competition, had been picked up by Woolworths in Australia, Qatar Duty-Free, Total Wine and More and Wholefoods in the US.
Dram in a Can has also been acclaimed by influential publications in the US.
The new 6,000 sq ft whiskey facility in Newry will see Two Stacks becoming one of the largest whiskey bonders and blenders in Ireland, working with a handful of top distilleries and breweries “to continue bringing unique and innovative spirit products into the world of whiskies,” Shane says.
“The new warehouse is completely self-sufficient, running off renewable solar panels, with all-electric machinery on-site, and electric car chargers for the staff,” he adds.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.