Northern Ireland’s Hinch Distillery, which is due to open its £15 million (US$19m) site in County Down next year, has entered the US through a distribution deal with Chopin Imports.Entrepreneur Dr Terry Cross OBE unveiled plans to open a £15m Irish whiskey and gin distillery in County Down, Northern Ireland, in November last year. The site will produce the Craft Hinch Irish whiskey and Ninth Wave Gin brands. The firm will launch in the US in September 2020. The US accounts for 40% of Irish whiskey sales globally and is the world’s second biggest gin market, according to the producer. Hinch Distillery also recently appointed Brandwerk its distributor in Taiwan. The distillery’s products are now available in 20 countries, including Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. The 30,0000 sq ft Hinch Distillery, located between Belfast and Ballynahinch, was due to open this summer but construction was delayed to due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The site had suspended construction but is now on track to start production in October 2020 with the visitor centre’s opening pushed back to 2021. The site will be able to accommodate more than 100,000 visitors a year when it opens. The project is expected to create 42 jobs over the next five years, which will generate nearly £1.3m (US$1.7m) in additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy.