Irish Whiskey Growth Fund

Dedicated capital for the whiskey distillery sector across Ireland
Dedicated capital for the whiskey distillery sector across Ireland

Irish Whiskey Growth Fund

The Irish Whiskey Growth Fund, established in 2018, is supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. It is the first fund established exclusively to lend to independent whiskey distilleries and other businesses operating in the whiskey sector across Ireland. The Fund has been formed specifically to fit the business model of whiskey businesses at each stage of their development, from the earliest stages of production to commercial maturity.

Whiskey businesses need to lay down stock early in their development in order to grow. However, given the long-term nature of the whiskey production cycle, the businesses require financing solutions suited to a long time horizon to achieve scale. The Fund provides stock-financing loans secured on borrowers’ existing whiskey stock, and tailored to the needs of specific businesses. With this access to growth capital, complementing existing sources of equity finance, business owners will be able to focus their efforts on producing quality whiskey and achieving scale.

This is a real opportunity for whiskey business owners around the country to obtain flexible financing that fits their specific business model. The Fund also supports distilleries by providing strategic commercial advice and access to industry knowledge and expertise.

Leading international whiskey experts, Dr. Alan Rutherford, Dr. Gordon Steele and Dr. Jack O’Shea, are working with the Fund and will make available their decades of technical and wider industry expertise to the benefit of whiskey distilleries. Click here to learn more about these leading whiskey experts.

The Irish Whiskey Industry

  • The Irish whiskey industry is the fastest growing spirits sector in the world
  • There were just two whiskey distilleries on the island in the early 1980s. There are now over 40 distilleries in operation with many more in planning
  • Irish whiskey is exported to more than 130 countries globally
  • Irish Whiskey exports in 2023 totalled €875 million
  • The Irish whiskey industry provides significant benefits for the Irish economy contributing greatly to Irish tourism, agriculture, trade and exports
  • 1.9 million tourists are expected to pass through the doors of Irish whiskey distilleries by 2025

Our Process

While our primary function is as providers of capital, our ethos is built on deep sectoral knowledge of the industries we invest within, patience and long term vision, and real partnerships with the emerging businesses we work with.


If you are thinking of growing and developing your whiskey business, get in touch to learn more about the Fund and how we can help


Following on from this both you and we should have a good idea if the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund is a good match for your company. If so, we will sit with you to fully understand your future plans for your business and how we can structure this investment to work for your company


Once the investment structure is agreed, we will perform a more in depth review of your business to ensure that there is nothing that you nor us have not thought through fully


All that is left now is to provide you with the capital. Depending on what structure we’ve agreed upon, the funds can then be drawn down in full up front or incrementally as and when required

Core Team

Irish Whiskey Growth Fund was founded by individuals who have a passion for supporting growing companies and helping businesses succeed. As providers of sector specific capital, our team has deep knowledge of the industries we work with and extensive experience financing companies for growth.

Fearghal Ó Ríordáin


Triona Hourihane



What is the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund?

The Irish Whiskey Growth Fund is a dedicated fund for the Irish whiskey distillery sector, supported by the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). It has been formed to provide debt funding to companies operating in the whiskey sector in Ireland. It is the first fund established exclusively to provide capital to the whiskey distillery sector across Ireland.

Why has the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund been set up?

Having spent decades investing in and helping develop emerging businesses in the high growth technology sector, Fearghal recognised the high growth potential of the Irish whiskey industry, along with the pressing need within the industry for dedicated capital to fund indigenous independent whiskey distilleries. He formed the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund to meet this need.

What is ISIF?

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund is an €8bn sovereign development fund, managed and controlled by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), with a statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. ISIF has a long investment time horizon and can act as a permanent or patient source of long-term capital.

How does the Fund work?

The Fund offers a unique capital investment structure tailored specifically to fit the whiskey distillery sector. The Fund will first engage with you to discuss your business and your plans for future growth. The Fund will then perform a review of the distillery, business model and commercial and technical requirements. The Fund will then proceed to explore with you the most suitable financing structure to match your plans for the business. The Fund will provide finance to your business through loans.

What expertise does the Fund have in the whiskey industry?

Leading international whiskey experts, Dr. Alan RutherfordDr. Gordon Steele and Dr. Jack O’Shea, are working with the Fund and will make available their decades of technical and wider industry expertise to whiskey distilleries in receipt of capital from the Fund.

What stage of growth should the distillery be at for the Fund to invest?

The Fund is seeking to lend to independent whiskey distilleries at all stages of their development. Whether the distillery is in the early stages of laying down stock or at the point where it is seeking to scale and increase production, the Fund would be happy to speak with you.

Does the Fund lend money to whiskey distilleries only?

The Fund has been established exclusively to lend to Irish whiskey distilleries and other companies operating in the whiskey sector in Ireland.

Will the Fund take equity in or control of the whiskey distillery?

The Fund is exclusively a provider of debt capital. It will not seek to make equity investments in or appoint directors to the companies to which it lends. Distilleries will remain managed and controlled by their founders or existing management and shareholders.

Can a company access multiple loans from the Fund at different stages of its development?

This funding will be available to drawdown on an ongoing basis as and when the requirement arises. The Fund can flex with a company’s requirements and capital will be available as needed.

What is the difference between the Fund and accessing finance through traditional banks?

The Fund has been established exclusively to lend to whiskey distilleries. It has specific expertise in the whiskey industry and understands the particular financial and commercial requirements of the whiskey distillery business model. The Fund can provide tailored and flexible financing to support these requirements, and has the ability to adapt as the distillery’s needs evolve. Our understanding and know-how, both commercially and on whiskey industry expertise specifically, are unique amongst capital providers. Additionally, the Fund’s investors are uniquely placed to take a very long-term view. Our approach and our structure is designed specifically to facilitate companies with whom we work.

How are the Fund and its manager structured?

The fund is formed under the Limited Partnerships Act 1907. The Fund is managed by IWSG Limited, which is registered as an alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) under Regulation 4 of the European Union (Alternative Investment Fund Managers) Regulations 2013.

If you have any further questions we would love to hear from you.