Grace O’Reilly: Ireland’s First Distillery Crop Walker

April 22, 2020
This year, the much-anticipated first whiskey releases will leave the gates of Waterford Distillery. The distillery’s intense approach to all aspects of whiskey production starts long before distillation or fermentation or even harvesting of the barley. It begins months in advance of the sowing through nurtured partnerships and planning with the farmers who’ll supply the crop. This is the part that Grace O’Reilly, Ireland’s only distillery-employed agronomist oversees.
In this episode of Stories & Sips, I chatted with Grace about her role, the difference Waterford Distillery’s approach has to the final product and what she has learned in this exciting new role. Oh, and I also asked her how she managed to convince the powers-that-be to let her live in the distillery.
Barry Chandler, Stories & Sips, together with Grace O’Reilly (center) and Megan Kiely of Waterford Distillery


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A few months ago I visited Waterford Distillery – a visit I thought would take an hour and which ended up taking seven, and I still didn’t see everything. I believe that Waterford Distillery is the most exciting new distillery in Ireland and I shared my thoughts on it in this video:


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