Ahascragh Distillery’s three Massive copper pot stills made their way from Forsyths in Scotland to Ahascragh, now sit behind the distillery’s large window in the heart of the village.
Installation of the bespoke modern equipment is currently underway, with commissioning beginning in the coming weeks with plans for first distillation in early 2023.
These copper stills will enable founders Gareth and Michelle McAllister to distil some of the first zero-emission spirits in Ireland and change the traditional energy source for Irish whiskey production.
Ahascragh distillery will be an all-electric distillery using 100% renewable energy, with 70% coming from wind farms and 30% generated on-site through solar panels and hydro wheels in the mill race.
Distillation is a highly energy intensive process, traditionally using fossil fuels or gas to generate the needed thermal loading. No fossil fuels or gas on will be burned on site, but instead will use high temperature heat pumps and an efficient energy storage system to produce their spirits. The technology and design has been validated and supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s EXEED programme, aimed at organisations who are planning an energy efficient investment project.
Cáit Baxter has been introduced as Distillery Manager, coming from the team at Dingle Distillery, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. She is looking forward to overseeing the commissioning process and leading the first distillation in the coming months.
A new series of short films “Distillery Diaries” explores Ahascragh distillery’s journey to making whiskey history in the West of Ireland. The films have highlighted work by local contractors and tradesmen, key milestones, and behind the scenes features. The most recent film is a look back at the past 12 months of construction and progress with founders Gareth and Michelle McAllister.
In the fourth edition of the Distillery Diaries series, Michelle McAllister highlights her interest in restoring the Ahascragh warehouse: “When I first saw the building, I knew it had a story to tell. I knew that there was a lot more it had to give. I think we all rush to build new and forget about our past and forget about the beautiful structures that we have built in years gone by.”
Last year, their whiskey and gin won many international awards including the International Wine and Spirits Competition, World Gin Awards, The Spirit Masters, The Design and Packaging Masters and The Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards. Most notably, their product Clan Colla 20 Pedro Ximénez won a gold medal at the Irish Whiskey Awards, and Xin Gin was named the best in Ireland at The Gin Guide Awards.
The Family Bond releases are available to buy in Carry out and Grenham’s off license in Ballinasloe, and to taste in bars and restaurants across town, Galway and beyond.
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