Belfast Telegraph

Entrepreneur raises glass to city's past with whiskey distillery plan

By Margaret Canning

A Belfast businessman and Lottery winner has vowed to build Belfast's first whiskey distillery for over a century.

One-time bus driver Peter Lavery said he was considering three heritage sites for the plant - the Sirocco Works, Titanic Quarter and Crumlin Road Gaol.

The east Belfast man said the new distillery would employ up to 40 people and would hark back to "the great whiskey producing days of Belfast's past".

Mr Lavery also looked back on the centenary of the launch of the Titanic yesterday as he unveiled a new whiskey blend named after the doomed liner.

He has already produced Danny Boy, a four-year-old blend of a 15-year-old malt, but has now set up the Belfast Distillery Company to further his ambitions.

Derek Hardy of the Belfast Distillery Company said: "We felt it was important for Belfast to take huge pride in its great history of shipbuilding and whiskey distilling - and what better way to celebrate this than with the launch of a new whiskey brand from Belfast bearing the Titanic name."

Danny Boy whiskey was launched two years ago and is distilled at the Cooley Distillery in Co Louth.

Mr Lavery, who is from Short Strand, became Belfast's first lottery millionaire after winning £10.2m in May 1996. As well as setting up businesses - including Gresham Street pie-themed bar/restaurant The Factory - he has raised money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice and the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association.

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