Specialist finance enables distillery to invest in equipment - Clonakilty Distillery

Distillery equipment

Our customer

Clonakilty Distillery is a new spirits manufacturer based in County Cork, Ireland. The locally run business was set up by founding directors Michael Scully, Helen Scully and Padraic Coll in 2016.

The distillery focuses on producing triple distilled, single pot whiskey using local heritage varieties of barley grown on the Scully’s farm. While the whiskey matures for a minimum of three years, they also produce gin, which is sold in both domestic and export markets.

In addition to producing quality spirits, The Clonakilty Visitor Experience offers tours of the working distillery, Whales Restaurant, and an outlet selling both product and merchandise.

Business challenge

Close Brothers were approached to fund the distillery’s investment in equipment and support its ongoing business plan by improving cash flow.

Due to start-up challenges and subsequent delays to the start of production, the business required more working capital upfront than originally estimated. As Close Brothers had worked closely with the business throughout the project, associated risk could be quantified quickly, and the overall funding plan could be adapted without delay.

The solution

The distillery secured a finance lease which enabled them to invest in dry goods handling and storage equipment, alongside brewing, fermenting and distilling equipment. They also purchased a processing and bottling plant.

In addition, the business released additional working capital from existing specialist assets using our Sale and Lease Back product.


Steve Devine, Sales Manager at Close Brothers, says:

“We are delighted to be able to support Clonakilty Distillery as they grow the company and product range. The specialist equipment we helped fund has allowed distillation of their own spirits to commence and sales to grow. We hope this investment will support the business for many years to come.

 “It was a pleasure working with the team from an early stage and building a strong relationship. As the project developed, we adapted to ensure we could meet the requirements and provide a viable solution.

“We have every confidence that the Clonakilty Distillery will thrive and hope Close Brothers can continue to support it as it grows.”

To find out how we can help, please contact us today.