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MINISTER RING OPENS NEW TULLAMORE D.E.W. VISITOR CENTRE

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MINISTER RING OPENS NEW TULLAMORE D.E.W. VISITOR CENTRE

MINISTER RING OPENS NEW TULLAMORE D.E.W. VISITOR CENTRE
September 13
12:55 2012

New world class tourist attraction in Tullamore set to attract over 40,000 visitors annually

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring T.D., and William Grant & Sons CEO Stella David today officially opened the doors to the new Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre in Tullamore.

The new Visitor Centre is the culmination of a multi-million euro investment by brand owners William Grant & Sons and more than eight months of intensive work on the site.

Visitor numbers are expected to increase annually to over 40,000 people making this a premier tourist attraction for both Tullamore and the Midlands.

Set in the original 19th Century bonded warehouse for Tullamore D.E.W. the new Visitor Centre will employ up to 12 people.  The Centre is located on the banks of the Grand Canal which was vital in allowing the former distillery to transport whiskey to Dublin for distribution around the world.  Visitors to the Centre will be taken on an immersive tour which brings the stories of Irish whiskey, the distilling process and Tullamore D.E.W. to life, and showcases the life and legacy of Daniel E. Williams, founder of Tullamore D.E.W., whose initials lend themselves to the brand.

Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest Irish whiskey brand in the world, selling more than 750,000 cases worldwide and growing at over 15% annually over the last few years.  In March 2012, William Grant & Sons announced it would also commence construction of a new distillery in Tullamore bringing whiskey production back to Tullamore for the first time in over 60 years.  Work is expected to commence on this facility early in 2013.

“This fine Centre is a very welcome tourism boost for the Midlands and represents a real vote of confidence in Ireland by William Grant & Sons.  Irish whiskey is an export phenomenon at the moment and today’s investment gives the growing number of cultural tourists and Irish whiskey aficionados alike around the world a true home with which to engage with the Tullamore D.E.W. story.  I wish the entire team every success for the future”, said Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring T.D.

 “This is an extremely exciting time for Tullamore D.E.W. with the opening of the Visitor Centre today and of course our decision to construct a new distillery here.  We invest to grow our brands for the long-term and bringing the story of Tullamore D.E.W. to life like this strengthens and deepens the relationship between the brand and its fans in a very real way”, said William Grant & Sons’ Chief Executive, Stella David.

“All great brands need a home, a base from which they can grow and tell their story to the world.  Tullamore D.E.W. now has that and it is highly appropriate it should be rooted in its native town.  This is Tullamore D.E.W. returning to its spiritual home and we look forward to it being a focal point for our fans and friends as well as our brand teams and business partners for many years to come”, said William Grant & Sons’ Group Marketing Director, Maurice Doyle.

The tour begins with a video in the main auditorium where the story of Daniel E. Williams sets the scene for the rest of the tour.  The introductory film ends to reveal a giant drying kiln for malted barley which visitors enter.  This area then becomes a fulcrum around which the tour revolves over three floors as visitors move up the stairs through the mashing kettle and washback to explore the distilling process from ingredient selection to treatment.  The tour blends Audio Visual technology with traditional storytelling in revealing Tullamore D.E.W.’s journey from its humble beginnings to present day including original archive footage and an audio interview with a worker from the original distillery.

In creating the new Centre William Grant & Sons enlisted the help of the local community in developing the narrative asking members of the public to donate artifacts and recount their stories of the old distillery.  It also drew heavily on its own expertise in building and managing similar attractions.  In 1969 William Grant & Sons opened the Glenfiddich Whisky attraction in Dufftown in Scotland which was the first distillery to open its door to the public and now attracts over 70,000 visitors a year.

William Grant & Sons currently employs over 85 people in Ireland – in Clonmel, Tullamore and the Global marketing office in Dublin.

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