Plans brewing for new whiskey distillery in city
Dublin city centre is to get a new distillery in the heart of the Liberties.
The St James Distillery is set to bring 20 new jobs to the capital when it opens next year.
Animal nutrition giant Alltech is behind the venture, with the Irish-led company set to invest €5.7m in it.
The facility will occupy the old St James' Church in James Street, close to the Guinness Storehouse.
Founded in 1707, the former Church of Ireland church, which was de-consecrated in 1961, is also home to a graveyard where up to 300,000 people are buried.
Alltech boss Pearse Lyons, whose distiller grandfather is buried in the cemetery, said his long-term goals for the project are two-fold.
Along with the distillery, the company plans to open a visitor centre that will "tell the story of the Liberties, coopers and entrepreneurs".
In addition, Mr Lyons said the facility will become a tourist attraction.
He told the Herald he hopes to attract at least half of the 1.2 million visitors who go to the Guinness Storehouse each year.
Billionaire Mr Lyons said the move to open a new distillery in Dublin was spurred by the expanding craft beer market.
His company already has beer and whiskey operations in Kentucky, and craft beer is now outselling Guinness in the US.
"When I saw the church, I thought why not have a distillery, not a brewery close to Guinness," he told a Sunday newspaper.
"We now have whiskey that is already matured and nearly ready. I needed a home for it, and where better than the heart of the Liberties, which was originally the distilling part of Dublin?
"In the United States our beer has been a huge runaway success, as have our whiskey, bourbon and malt whiskey."
The company hosts its third annual Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin next month.
All things food and drink will take over the capital's Convention Centre from next Friday to Sunday.
The event will feature more than 300 craft beers from across the globe.