COPELAND Distillery has hit another milestone with the first shipments of its gin, rum and whiskey sent to the United States. The Donaghadee distillery has partnered with Tradebright, based in Co. Waterford, Washington State and Los Angeles, who will import the range and help the brand secure new distributors and retail partners across North America. The first shipment of over 15,000 bottles has just left the local distillery, with over 40,000 bottles due for delivery by the end of the year. This follows extensive discussions with distributors and retailers across the US, with new distribution agreements already secured in seven states including Missouri, Texas, Idaho, Arizona, New Hampshire, Colorado and Georgia. The export focus is on the Distillery’s core range – Rhuberry Gin, Jones 1778 Navy Strength Gin, Smugglers’ Reserve Rum and Merchants’ Quay Blended Irish Whiskey. With increased availability now secured across North America, the business is on track to sell over 25,000 cases in 2022, and deliver against a target of over 40,000 cases in 2023. Gareth Irvine, founder of the Copeland Distillery, said the firm’s range represents the best of Northern Ireland craftsmanship and the rich history of Donaghadee. “We are thrilled that we have started to share these stories with and connect to US consumers,” he said. “This is a significant milestone in our journey as we look to double our volumes by the end of 2023. We’re really pleased with the initial feedback from distributors, retailers and on-trade customers, and the state-by-state approach Tradebright has applied to growing our presence in the US. “The US is a complex market to crack, given the differing alcohol regulations in each state but we are now primed to deliver significant volumes in the gin, rum and whiskey categories. Mary Daniels, director of Global Trade at Tradebright, said: “The Copeland range has already sparked an interest with US buyers and distributors as there are so few Irish craft distilleries producing such a diverse range of premium quality rum, whiskey and gin. “Consumers’ continued demand for uniquely crafted and great tasting spirits, from producers with great brand stories will continue to transform the industry for years to come, so supporting impressive Irish producers liked Copeland on their journey is a priority for us. “With six states already signed up and more in the pipeline, we’re looking forward to establishing the Copeland brand right across the US over the next few years.” Competing earlier this year at International Spirit and Wine Competition (IWSC), alongside 1200 other gins, Copeland Distillery’s Irish gin scored an impressive 99 points out of 100 and was awarded an Outstanding Gold medal and the overall Trophy for 2022.