McAllister Distillers Ltd. has announced plans for a new whiskey distillery at Ahascragh, County Galway. Planning applications were submitted August 10th to Galway County Council with the hope that production can begin mid 2022.
The complex will produce various styles of Irish whiskey and gin, with the site also including a visitor centre, rooms for hospitality events, retail shop and cafe. 15 jobs will be created at the distillery and visitor centre, with a further 60-70 indirect roles for suppliers, farmers, logistics providers and other local and national businesses. Towards the end of this year, they also plan to release Irish whiskey under the McAllister brand which will be sourced from an existing producer.
The new distillery in Ahascragh aims to provide an outstanding visitor experience and will provide a huge boost to tourism in the area. We have a unique story and a unique experience for the consumer. We want to produce whiskey and gin that will put Ahascragh and Galway firmly on the Irish whiskey tourist trail while introducing the products we make to a national and international clientele.
McAllister Distillers plan to work with the local community in their plans for the complex, where locals have the opportunity to see the plans in more detail and ask questions about the project.
Ahascragh Mill dates back to the early 1800’s and up until the 1950’s processed grain into flour. It has been disused and derelict for the past number of decades. The proposed project allows for the high-quality conversion of these old industrial buildings to create a new long-lasting business, which will create local interest in the town of Ahascragh and national interest in a new whiskey distillery. The distillery will create a business in the growing food and drink tourism category which is an appropriate addition to the local area. The scope of work consists of alterations to repair and restore the building fabric of the existing Mill Buildings, install process equipment for the production of whiskey and gin, administration space and function space ancillary to the distillery use. Visitor facilities will be incorporated to accommodate tours of the Distillery which will include a museum/interpretative area displaying articles and plant associated with the former use of the building as well as a Tasting Room. The old Mill wheel will be restored. A Natura impact statement (NIS) has been submitted to the local authority with the Planning Application. Ahascragh Mill is a protected structure and can be reviewed on the record of protected structures list under RPS no.92.
“Buildings like these deserve to have their history honoured.”
From a conservation point of view, the completed project will achieve:
- The refurbishment of the existing mill buildings which are in a rapidly deteriorating state of repair
- Heritage benefit by maintaining the surviving fabric of this significant protected structure
- Historical interpretation of the previous use of the building, and a permanent exhibition of the mill equipment salvaged from the building
- A new, long term building use which is similar to the former use, guaranteeing the future of the building group for the foreseeable future
“We had been looking for locations in the west of Ireland for some time but once we saw Ahascragh village, the beautiful mill buildings with mill race and old water wheel, we knew this had to be the location for the new brand home of McAllister Irish Whiskey. It is already a place of spirit, we will add another. Enhancing Ahascragh’s offering to its community and visitors has been a major consideration throughout the design process. The mix of contemporary and traditional finishes in our design will complement the village. Our aim is to create an opportunity for visitors to visit the area, and we hope that local businesses can benefit from the footfall we plan to generate.”
Gareth and Michelle McAllister are a husband and wife team, from North County Dublin. Gareth, a qualified chemical engineer, has spent thirty years in the corporate world and he and Michelle have lived and worked in many countries in the past twenty years including Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, USA, China and Hong Kong. Through their travels they realised they wanted to work together and turn their passion into a business. McAllister Distiller’s Ltd was established in 2018 with a purpose to produce authentically crafted Irish spirits to the highest quality of tasting experience with unique and innovative flavours, helping family and friends to celebrate meaningful moments and occasions strengthening new and old connections. McAllister Irish Whiskey, takes its inspiration from their namesake James McAllister & Sons and other Irish Whiskey Bonders of the 1800’s, reviving the old Irish model of whiskey bonding, blending and finishing to create an authentically crafted premium quality Irish whiskey.
We wish them luck on their exciting journey!
Keep an eye on their website mcallisterdistillers.com