Unmissable Irish whiskey distilleries to visit

15th September, 2020 by Lauren Eads

From a coastal escape in County Cork to Dublin’s many distillery offerings, Ireland offers plenty of tours and experiences to satisfy any whiskey fan. Here, we look at eight sites that have reopened to visitors.

Powerscourt Distillery in County Wicklow offers a whiskey and food tasting

Following on from our top Scotch whisky distilleries to visit, now we bring you our pick of the best Irish whiskey distilleries to visit, those which have already reopened post-Covid.

Scotland might get most of the buzz when it comes to whisky tourism, but Ireland has heaps to offer the spirits enthusiast, with hundreds of distilleries welcoming guests and investment growing by the year.

In 2019, Irish whiskey distilleries attracted more than one million visitors, according to trade body Drinks Ireland. Dozens of new distilleries have opened in the past decade, with some of the biggest producers investing millions in creating distillery tours and visitor centres.

However with about 87% of visitors typically from overseas, and in the wake of Covid-19 and continued travel restrictions, Irish whiskey tourism is one of the most exposed sectors, explains William Lavelle, head of Drinks Ireland. After months of closures, the industry is now getting back on its feet with increasing numbers of distilleries reopening with new safety measures in place. But Drinks Ireland has said that local visitors will be “critical” to safeguarding the future viability of the Irish whiskey sector.

In response, earlier this year Drinks Ireland launched a new campaign called Get Back into the Spirit to promote Irish whiskey tourism and encourage local consumers to visit distilleries as they reopen.

“While increased domestic tourism cannot fully make up for the fall in visitor numbers from overseas, getting more Irish people through the doors of distilleries over the coming months will be critical to ensuring their future viability,” said Lavelle. “So we’re hoping domestic tourists will support the industry, and use this summer as an opportunity to discover the hidden whiskey gems that are on their doorstep.”

Click through to the following pages for a selection of Irish distilleries that have already reopened and are welcoming visitors once more.

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