Kilbeggan Distillery is located on the River Brosna in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath roughly halfway between Dublin and Galway as the crow flies.
Like many distilleries, Kilbeggan’s fickle history has been marred with ups and downs, celebrations and closures.
In 1982, almost thirty years after the distillery ceased operations, the Kilbeggan Preservation and Development Association was formed by enthusiastic locals. They used funds raised locally and restored the Distillery before opening it as a museum.
John Teeling of Cooley Distillery and Great Northern Distillery fame brought the distillery to life again in Kilbeggan in 2007. The brands associated with the distillery at the time – Kilbeggan and Locke’s, were being produced at the Cooley Distillery in County Louth, but were then transported to Kilbeggan, where they matured in a 200 year old granite rackhouse.
In 2010, with the installation of a mash tun and fermentation vats, Kilbeggan became a fully operational distillery once again and has been in constant production ever since.
One of the two pot stills installed in the refurbished distillery was a 180-year old pot still that is fully functional and operational today.
Since reopening, the distillery has launched a Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye. It is a double-distilled spirit which is produced from a mash of malted barley, and about 30% rye.
The distillery’s visitor centre is a popular whiskey destination and was among the nominations in Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky visitor attraction category in 2008.
Just over 1 hour from Dublin city, the distillery rests picturesquely with whitewashed walls, a weathered slate roof, a brick chimney stack, and a creaking timber water wheel.