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Ireland - The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company

Old Irish whiskey tradition given new lease of life in Canada.

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Old Irish whiskey tradition given new lease of life in Canada

The Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Company is Ireland’s only Whiskey Bonder. Together with her small team, founder Louise McGuane revived this traditional way of making whiskey back on the family farm.

Key facts

  • Founded in: 2015
  • Headquarters: County Clare, Ireland
  • Employees: 3
  • Annual turnover: €500,000 approx.

Chapel Gate sources whiskey from multiple distilleries all over Ireland and mature it in their purpose built rack-house on site. When it is ready they blend it to create unique styles.

The company is based in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland on the family farm and is effectively a global small business. After one year of operations they are already exporting to the USA, Germany, the UK, Middle East and Canada. Around 70% of their exports are to outside the EU, and revenues from outside the EU are expected to triple next year.

The company has 2 full time and one part time employee, and expects to grow to 5 employees by the end of 2018 to support export markets.

How EU trade agreements help:

The EU’s trade agreements are essential for free and fair competition globally. Trade agreements make it easier for smaller companies like Chapel Gate to grow and hire more people.

Irish Whiskey has been protected from imitation in Canada since 2009. CETA – the EU’s trade agreement with Canada –means these rules are enforced more effectively as well as making it easier for Chapel Gate to export there by cutting red tape, particularly at the provincial level.

The agreement opens the way for small businesses like mine who must export to survive and grow. By lessening the tax burden we can become much more competitive in the global marketplace and forge a space for ourselves with the growing Irish Whiskey category. Alcohol is generally a heavily protected sector around the world, so breaking down trade barriers is essential for us to access markets we otherwise would not be able to.

Louise McGuane,
Founder and CEO
Chapel Gate