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Enda Kenny with Nephin sales director Mark Quick at the company launch this summer. K.M.Noone Photography
penny in the jar

'Largest ever' fundraising campaign planned for Mayo craft distillery

Nephin Distillery is hoping to raise €114,000 over the next 35 days.

A MICRO DISTILLERY in County Mayo is getting ready to pull the trigger on what it says will be Ireland’s largest-ever crowd funding campaign.

The Nephin Distillery in Lahardaun, County Mayo, is aiming to raise $150,000 (€114,000) on the fundraising website, and is planning to launch the appeal tomorrow.

If successful, the cash will go towards copper for the three stills which chief executive Paul Davis wants to have on-site in Mayo by this time next year.

The company, which was founded in July of this year, is hoping to expand into the US market, where Davis says that there is a “huge opportunity” for what he says will be Ireland’s first peated single malt when the whiskey starts to flow in around three years’ time.

The company already has cash committed from final investors, but says that the crowd-funded target would make a vital contribution to the final €3-€5 million needed to fully fund the distillery, as well as raising brand awareness in Nephin’s key market.

Nephin already employs three people in Mayo, with a target to expand the team to 18 by the end of next year. Hiring a cooper and two apprentices is first on Davis’ list, while up to 30 people will be employed redeveloping the distillery site.

The Distillery is planned for several vacant buildings in the village, including an empty stone granary dating from the 1800s, with redevelopment scheduled for between January and May next year.

There are also plans for a visitor centre at the site, which Davis says could attract up to 40,000 visitors per year.

Read: Americans are acquiring a taste for Jameson – but it’s not so bright at home>

Read: BOD takes a punt on whiskey company>

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