A recent phenomenon in The Liberties has been the return of whiskey distilling to an area of Dublin synonymous with the craft. In its 18th and 19th century industrial heyday the area was dominated by whiskey and brewing magnates such as the Guinness, Power, Roe and Jameson families. The 20th century saw the terminal decline of distilling in the area and the closure of all its once-dominant distilleries.
Recent years has seen a renewed interest on craft distilleries in the area, spurred on by the resurgence of Irish whiskey on the global market. Teeling Distillery has been the first working distillery developed in Dublin in over 100 years and last year its visitor centre at Newmarket saw 100,000 people take the Teeling experience. 2017 sees two new additions to the area: a second distillery at Newmarket operated by Quintessential Brands and Alltech’s Pearse Lyons Distillery on James Street.
Now Diageo has entered the fray with a new premium whiskey brand called Roe & Co, inspired by the former George Roe & Sons distillery previously on Thomas Street. The new whiskey will form part of a €25m visitor experience at the former Guinness powerstation on James Street which was announced on 31st January and is expected to develop and open over the next 3 years.
The Pearse Lyons Distillery, located within the restored former St James’s Church, is set to open its doors later in the spring.
The four distilleries, combined with the award-winning Guinness Storehouse and Open Gate Brewery, mark a remarkable positioning of The Liberties as a showcase for Dublin’s premier craft drink brands.