Gerry Ginty of Powerscourt Distillery, on Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow and participated on WIT’s New Frontiers Phases 1 and 2 in 2015, aged 30
About Powerscourt Distillery
Industry: Whiskey manufacture and production and visitor centre.
Powerscourt Distillery whiskey is for the emerging middle-class consumer’s in the USA & China, who want to trade up to a premium Pot Stilled Irish Whiskey or Grain Irish Whiskey. Unlike industrial mass produced whiskeys, Powerscourt Distillery Whiskey is a small-batch artisan distillery, handcrafting Pot Stilled Irish Whiskey for the domestic and foreign market. Its plans to leverage the Powerscourt brand name and tap into the 500,000 tourists that visit Powerscourt Estate each year.
- Malt Aged Irish Whiskey
- Pot stilled Irish Whiskey
- Grain Irish whiskey
Made with the water and barley grown on Powerscourt estate.
USA - In 2015, Irish whiskey showed growth in every key global market, including a volume increase of 24%+ to 1.71 million nine-litre cases in the U.S., the number one market for Irish whiskey (48%). In 2015 Irish whiskey sales to US, generating $500+ million in revenues for distillers for Ireland.
Your experience of New Frontiers
Where did your business idea come from?
It came from a real passion for Irish whiskey that my father and I had for the last 16 years and desire to come home to Ireland during the recession and create jobs and employment for the local community. The desire to create a real tangible business after working as a management consulate for Accenture in the financial service arena. A real business that utilized the natural resources that Ireland has in abundance, water and barley. A scalable business model that can add real value to an export production.
How has the New Frontiers Programme helped you to get where you are today?
New Frontiers programme allows the participants to complete a deep dive on your business model and examine every aspect of it through two lens one from the customer’s point of view and one from the investor’s point of view. The end result is a scalable business opportunity. It allows the entrepreneur to work on the business instead of in the business. The mentoring provided outstanding and was instrumental in taking my business to the next level. I would highly recommend the New frontiers to any budding entrepreneur. The guidance and network of support from Eugene, Eileen and WIT team, was keyto our success! The programme provided me with the structure and time to really define our value proposition, identify the strengths and weakness of the team to build a team that could deliver a project of this scale.
What age were you when you started on the New Frontiers programme?
What advice would you give to those considering the New Frontiers programme?
If you are lucky enough to be selected for this exceptional programme embrace all aspects of the programme with open arms - all modules are valuable and each play a key role in the business and ultimately your failure or success. The business model canvas allows you to compartmentalize your business in to each unit and focus on key deliverable. Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating so utilize the network of like minded individuals to bound ideas off and learn from each other.
What's your vision for the business for the future?
Powerscourt Distillery craft will be located in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains on the prestigious Powerscourt Estate that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year and will produce premium craft distilled whiskey for sale in an ever increasing global market. This exciting business opportunity is about building and creating a genuine Irish whiskey brand having authentic provenance from one of Ireland’s leading estates. Powerscourt Distillery is reviving the ancient tradition of whiskey distilling in Wicklow with the first traditional craft pot stilled whiskey distillery since the eighteenth century. We are passionate about fostering an appreciation of this traditional Irish spirit, reclaiming and celebrating Ireland's distilling heritage and in parallel creating sustainable long term rural development. What’s unique about out whiskey is we are utilising the naturalresources that Powerscourt has in abundance, the barley will be grown in the field of Powerscourt, water on site from the Wicklow mountains the whiskey will be stored on site and perfect climate conditions to create something that is extra-special, whiskey from Powerscourt Estate. Powerscourt Whiskey Distillery believes that it's not about producing very large quantities of product, rather focusing on quality small batch production. It will feature a world class visitor centre where visitors can celebrate and appreciate a unique and authentic Irish experience of a traditional pot still distillery in the beautiful surroundings of Powerscourt. We plan to promote a positive alcohol experience not based on quantity, but on quality and appreciation for the ancient Irish craft of distilling. Irish spirits promote an image of premium quality, tradition, heritage and strength of character that Ireland is known for throughout the world. Powerscourt Distillery is building a traditional Pot Still Irish Whiskey that embodies the heritage and style of Powerscourt Estate, and builds on the brand’s tradition of quality and craftsmanship! Something we all can be very proud of.
Tell us more
Embrace change, it is inevitable! The distilleries being developed in Ireland currently are less competition and more an indication of the powerful and long term desire for Irish whiskey products globally. It’s all about collaboration and cooperation of the new distilleries, working together to promote Irish whiskey as a category. The advent of new entrants to the category is fundamental to the sustainable growth of the category for the recruitment and retention of consumers. The Irish whiskey category will be as successful as the collective success of its brands, like Nephin Distillery and Powerscourt Distillery. I truly believe our competition is other premium spirits (Scotch, Bourbon) more so than craft or even other Irish distilleries.
To find out more about WIT's New Frontiers programme visit www.wit.ie/newfrontiers