Behind the Scenes: The Business of Poitín

May 8, 2023

When Pádraic Ó'Griallais and his family opened the doors to Micil Distillery on the Wild Atlantic Way in Salthill village in 2016 it became Galway’s first legal distillery in over 100 years. 

For over 170 years Pádraic's family has crafted exceptional Irish spirits on the shores of Galway Bay. Micil Distillery is named in honor of Pádraic's great-great-great grandfather, Micil Mac Chearra, who began distilling poitín in 1848 on a Connemara hillside. For six generations and over 170 years the family have preserved the craft, distilling extraordinary spirits made using family recipes, craft knowledge and time-honored techniques.

Poitín and Irish whiskey are inextricably linked and throughout history have followed similar journeys through changing political, social and economic climates, yet have both always weathered the storms, ensuring centuries of distilling knowledge have been passed down through each generation.

In this Behind The Scenes interview, Mark McLaughlin chats with Micil Distillery founder Pádraic Ó'Griallais about:

  • the business of building a poitín and whiskey distillery
  • leveraging family recipes and stories to influence the current business
  • trying to recreate historical flavor profiles using today's technologies and tools
  • Micil's approach to water, yeast, grain and wood when it comes to their poitíns and whiskeys
  • using their own family-harvested turf to smoke their grains during malting
  • Micil's plans for their sourced and in-house distilled whiskeys

It's a fascinating chat with a founder that has the burden of honoring his family's legacy as well as sustain a business and legacy for the future.


Watch the full video below (login required)



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