DONEGAL continues to brew its reputation as one of Ireland’s top producers of fine alcoholic beverages, with a new gin set to be launched this weekend.
Behind the new tipple is the Muff Liquor Company, a business recently set up by Inishowen entrepreneur Laura Bonner and her business
partner Tom Russell.
They are confident they can entice both novice and seasoned gin drinkers alike with their inventive take on a classic distilled gin.
After spending a number of years studying and working in both Dublin and London, Laura revealed how she spotted a niche in the drinks
market and decided to establish her own distilled spirits company, specifically producing a potato based spirit.
“My grandfather Philip McClenaghan was a well known potato farmer in Greencastle,” said Laura.
“One of his many hobbies was to make a poitin with potatoes, so the idea of making a potato-based spirit, inspired by my grandfather that
could originate from Ireland, just stuck with me. Tom loved the idea and identified with the opportunity in the craft liquor market and so we
took the plunge and I moved back home. It hasn’t been easy but it has been so fulfilling to create something from scratch, with family heritage at its heart and we’re really excited to launch.”
The gin is currently being produced in Arderin Distillery in Tullamore by Eoin Bara who owns M—r Irish Gin. Laura and Tom say
though they are very keen to expand the business and to eventually set up their own distillery in Muff.
The Muff Liquor Company name is something that they believe makes them stand out from the rest and perfectly represents the fun and cheeky identity they want to establish with the company.
But behind the cheeky exterior is a respect for tradition.
“These were the ideas Granda McClenaghan passed down through my family and it is something I want to make sure is at the centre of
everything we do.
“That is the reason an illustration of him adorns the back of the bottle and I couldn’t beprouder to have him as a representation of the
ideas and values of this company.
“The brand is visually very much inspired by the past. My grandfather kept journals of recipes for his poit’n, food and plans for things he would build around the farm. This old journal style is the basis of our brand and a lot of our visuals and will be the main theme running through our physical and digital marketing.”
Last year in the UK almost 50 million bottles of gin were sold, taking sales of the newly reborn spirit past the £1.2 billion mark.
In Ireland gin is the fastest growing drink in the spirits category and Laura and Tom say they are very keen to target those seeking out a premium product.
The couple are looking to get a foothold in the global market and word of the Muff Liquor Company is already spreading across the USA, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
Laura added, “The eventual plan for the company overall is to be based totally out of Inishowen and have our head office and distillery
located there. We want to have a visitor centre that will not only showcase our brand but showcase local history also. We want to give back to the community as well by hiring local people to work with us in our base of operations. Local farmers will be the source for some of our ingredients for any drink we produce and I feel this is a real connection back to my grandfather and of course the local community of Muff and Inishowen which will be at the heart of what we do.”
The new gin will be launched at the Bailey Niteclub, Redcastle tomorrow evening, Saturday, at 8pm.
Posted: 7:00 pm February 2, 2018