Bacardi buys minority stake in Teeling Irish whiskey

Dublin-based distiller Teeling Whiskey has signed a distribution deal in the US with Bacardi, which has also taken a minority stake in the company.

Stephen and Jack Teeling (Photo: Teeling Whiskey Company)

Teeling’s portfolio of Irish whiskeys have been imported into the US since 2014, but from 1 September will be distributed in select US states by Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, formed following the merger of Southern Wine and Spirits of America and Glazer’s in 2016 – Bacardi’s transatlantic spirits division created to handle its portfolio of brands in the US.

Jack Teeling, founder and managing director, said: “The US market is by far the most important market for Irish whiskey and it is beginning to go through significant ‘premiumisation’. Given the size of the opportunity, when a chance came up to partner with Bacardi through their new national distribution partnership and unique route-to-market model with Southern Glazer’s, it was too good not to take.”

“Joining forces with a partner of this calibre in the largest market for Irish whiskey is an important strategic development for us and is testament to what Teeling Whiskey has achieved over the past five years.”

The distillery will continue to be run by its current owners and management team, and the company will remain “independent and autonomous” from Bacardi, said Teeling.

Founded by Jack Teeling in 2012, who was joined by his brother Stephen in 2013, the Teeling Whiskey Company was set up to revive their family trademark of Irish whiskey and bring distilling back to Dublin.

in 2011, their father, John Teeling, sold the family’s Cooling Distillery to Beam for US$95m.

In 2015, The Teeling Whiskey Company opened its brand new €10m distillery and visitor centre in The Liberties, Dublin – the first distillery to open in the city in 125 years. The company recently announced a €500,000 expansion of the distillery to tap into the location as a tourist destination.

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