The Irish whiskey industry now has 35 operating distilleries with another two-dozen announced and currently either in the planning stage or under construction. It has been a remarkable turnaround for an industry that, as late as 1988, had only two functioning distilleries. In the meantime, sales have soared from 200,000 cases in 1989, to over 11 million cases in 2020.
One of the principal drivers of the Irish whiskey renaissance has been the dramatic growth in the sales of Irish Distillers Ltd’s (IDL) Jameson’s Irish whiskey. The brand has a market share exceeding 70% of the global Irish whiskey market. It does even better in the critical US market, which represents a billion dollars in wholesale sales of Irish whiskey and is Ireland’s most important whiskey market.