Lough Neagh Distillers has signed a six figure export deal that will see its range of whiskeys and gins become available in the American state of Pennsylvania.

Lough Neagh Distillers was set up in late 201 by Lurgan-based entrepreneur Vernon Fox. The deal will see the company supplying spirits to over 100 outlets across the state.

The US breakthrough, made during a recent trade mission organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, has helped Lough Neagh Distillers to fast-forward its ambitions to crack the US market.

Lough Neagh’s range includes an 18-year matured Coney Island Irish Whiskey, and a six and three-year matured O’Neill’s Tower and Ferryman’s brands. The agreement includes Lough Neagh’s craft beer brand, Spade:Town.

Having recently secured premises, the company will also begin distilling on-site at its own craft brewery and distillery in Lurgan in July 2020. The company plans to build on its early US success, with export targets of 20,000 cases by 2023.

Its first products go on sale in the US in May.

“This transformational US deal realises our ambitions and means immediate expansion and renewed investment to scale up our operations at home,” owner Vernon Fox said. “The ABC Council trade mission has been a game-changer for our company. Having secured approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to sell our products in their jurisdiction, we’re now able to ramp up our growth plans by 18 to 24 months.

“During the visit, we also met with senior delegates from the Irish-American Business Chamber and Network, who are helping us to open new doors and markets. We’re in a strong position and we’re only getting started.”

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