Micil Distillery, Galway, Poitín: Lock-in Livestream

June 14, 2021

Long before Americans were illicitly distilling moonshine in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, the Irish were busy producing their own potent spirit on farms and in fields, in houses and sheds.

Poitín (pronounced pot-cheen) has a long (and often illegal) history! It’s a close un-aged cousin of whiskey and depending on who you talk to, may predate whiskey in Ireland.

We were joined this week on The Lock-in, to discuss its fascinating past and exciting future, by Pádraic Ó Griallais, a 6th generation poitín distiller from Connemara in the West of Ireland. His family has been producing poitín on the shores of Galway Bay for over 170 years.

Pádraic runs Micil Distillery in Galway, named in honor of his great-great-great grandfather, Micil Mac Chearra who began distilling in 1848 in Connemara. Pádraic has resurrected this art while staying on the right side of the law! In addition to poitín, the Ó Griallais family are now producing Irish whiskey in their distillery in Salthill in Galway too.

We were also joined by previous Lock-in guest (we can’t get rid of him) Mark Rye, Head of Marketing and Brand Management at Micil who weighed in with some stories of his own from where he grew up on the famed Inishowen peninsula in Donegal – the epicenter of illicit poitín production from the 1600s right up to…well, I don’t know that it’s ever gone away!

If you’ve ever wondered about this clear and potent spirit, were curious about how its made or if you love hearing stories of the turbulent history of Irish spirits, then you’ll want to watch this episode for the craic and the banter.


Irish whiskeys sipped this week:

  • Micil Heritage Edition Poitín



Join Barry Chandler, founder and host of Stories & Sips every Friday live on Facebook and YouTube at 7pm EST/4pm PST.

Each week Barry opens up a few different Irish whiskeys and invites a guest or two to join for conversation and craic.

The Lock-in Livestream is a great chance to raise a glass to our health, one another and another week under our belt.

Irish whiskey brings people together. Each Friday 1000s of Irish whiskey fans come together in one place – the Lock-in Livestream. Mark your calendar for this weekly celebration of all things Irish whiskey.