Economy Minister officially opens Hinch Distillery and visitor centre

Date published: 31 March 2021

Economy Minister Diane Dodds today officially opened the new Hinch Distillery and visitor centre located just outside Ballynahinch.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds, Head Distiller at Hinch Aaron Flaherty and owner Dr Terry Cross OBE.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds, Head Distiller at Hinch Aaron Flaherty and owner Dr Terry Cross OBE.

The £15million investment in the new 30,000sq ft distillery and local tourist attraction will lead to the creation of 42 new jobs

Speaking after performing the official opening of the new facility, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said:

“Since establishing in 2016, Hinch Distillery has experienced impressive growth. Through sheer hard work and determination, it has moved from idea stage to develop a range of products and grown to export its products to over 25 countries around the world.

“Invest Northern Ireland is helping the company achieve this ambitious growth strategy and is continuing to support and share its expertise with the opening of the distillery and immersive visitor centre. The creation of 42 new jobs as a result of this investment will contribute an additional £1.3million in additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy.

“The visitor centre is an impressive new tourist attraction where visitors can learn about the distillation process used to produce the company’s products. Northern Ireland is known globally for our great hospitality along with the pure natural quality of our produce.

“Investments like these will help us sow the seeds of recovery and rebuild our economy following the impact of the pandemic. The hospitality and tourism industry has been especially impacted so I am delighted to be here today to be able to celebrate this investment, and I want to congratulate Terry and his team and wish them every success.”

Speaking about the completion of the project, owner Dr Terry Cross OBE said:

“Today marks a very proud moment for myself and the team who have finally realised a blueprint that is set to make its mark on the Northern Ireland tourism map and the global drinks industry. We would like to thank Invest Northern Ireland for its support and guidance so far. Its financial support and marketing assistance has been instrumental in our success to date.

“Our Hinch range of Irish whiskies and Ninth Wave Irish Gin brand are already leaving an imprint on the international drinks market. In just one year since launch, we’ve secured distribution deals in more than 25 countries including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, the US, France and Germany, while many more partnerships with renowned drinks distributors elsewhere are in the pipeline. 

“And despite being relative newcomers to the market we are making waves at revered awards events globally including a Double Gold and ‘Gin of the Year’ trophy for our Ninth Wave Irish Gin at the China Wine and Spirit Awards (CWSA).  Being able to commence operations is just the beginning of our story. We look forward to celebrating our successful products at home, where they are made, and invite Northern Ireland to be part of that.”

Kevin Holland, CEO of Invest NI, said:

"We are working with Hinch Distillery to help it grow its business, create jobs and rapidly grow its exports, and have offered it over £1.9million of support to date. Today’s opening is testament to our strong working relationship with the company in action.  The distillery and visitor centre adds to Northern Ireland’s growing drinks tourism industry with its distinct product offering and guest experience. This is something that Terry and his team should all be proud of.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption:
    Pic 1 - Pictured at the official opening of Hinch Distillery are Economy Minister Diane Dodds, Head Distiller at Hinch Aaron Flaherty and owner Dr Terry Cross OBE.
  2. The Department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the Department’s internal records management system. The Department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The Department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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